JUR1530 – Refugee and Asylum Law (BA)

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

Course content

This course seeks to present the international legal framework for refugee and asylum issues and assess its evolution. The course will not concentrate on the asylum laws of one country in particular, rather the approach is multinational in order to provide an overview of the commonalities and conflicts within the world system. Students will attain a thorough knowledge of the Convention relating to the Status of Refugees (1951), as well as the principal regional conventions.

Main areas of discussion include the basic U.N. criteria for the attainment, denial, and withdrawal of refugee status, the development of the non-refoulement principle, and the standard of treatment of refugees. The political, social, and economic context of prevention, protection, and solution strategies will be explored. Close study of jurisprudence within international, regional, and national courts and UNHCR actions will provide an understanding of how refugee and asylum law is interpreted and implemented. In addition, the course will analyse the drawbacks and benefits of alternative forms of protection, e.g. temporary protection and safe haven.

Progressive issues such as internally displaced persons and "development/environmental" refugees will also be presented. Trends towards expansion of the refugee definition will be assessed by studying regional approaches within Africa, Latin America, and Europe.

Learning outcome

Students will learn how to conduct a refugee status determination
pursuant to the definition of a refugee contained within the 1951
Convention on the Status of Refugees and regional instruments. The principal aspects of inclusion, exclusion, cessation and non-refoulement criteria will be addressed. Students will be expected to demonstrate critical thinking in evaluating the reasoning and conclusions of national and international judges contained in case law.


Students who are admitted to study programmes or individual courses at UiO must each semester register
which courses and exams they wish to sign up for by registering a study plan in StudentWeb.

International applicants, if you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information
about admission requirements and procedures for international applicants.

Nordic applicants that are accepted to study programmes or individual courses at UiO can be admitted to this course.


Recommended previous knowledge

Please note that lectures and curriculum for this course is aimed at students at master degree level.

However, the achievement requirements are adjusted for students who take the subject at bachelor degree level.

Overlapping courses



Language of teaching for this course is English. This means that all
communication during lectures/seminars will be in English, and all
literature and auxiliary materials are in English.


In the spring semester 2023, the exam will be a 48 hour home exam, maximum 3000 words.

Footnotes should be included in the word count of the main text. Not included in this count: front page (title etc.), summary, table of contents and references (bibliography). (If relevant for the paper).

Assignments/papers with text exceeding the word limit will not be accepted.

Previous exam papers


Examination support material

This is an open book exam. Candidates may therefore make use of all available sources during the examination period.

Your exam paper must be an independent work. Exam candidates are not permitted to communicate with other persons about the exam question(s) or distribute draft answers or exam answers.

General rules on exam support materials

Use of sources and rules for citing

Familiarize yourself with the use of sources and citations in legal writing. In an exam situation, using other people’s material without declaring it in a clear manner may be considered cheating or an attempt at cheating. You must cite any sources you draw on.

Language of examination

The examination text is given in English, and you submit your response in English.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Marking criteria for written examination

This  guide is used by examiners for grading elective courses at the Faculty of Law.


Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

Withdrawal from an examination

It is possible to take this exam up to 3 times. If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline or during the exam, this will be counted as an examination attempt.

There are special rules for resitting a passed examination in the master's programme in Law.

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.


The course is subject to continuous evaluation. At regular intervals we also ask students to participate in a more comprehensive evaluation.


The language for this course is English. Students enrolled in the
Masterprogrammet i rettsvitenskap must pass one
English subject as part of their degree, this course will meet these

This subject is taught at Bachelor's level. The subject is also taught at Master's level (10 ECTS credits), see JUS5530 – Refugee and Asylum Law

Please see the chapter above, regarding overlap. For instances of overlap, credits will be deducted on the subject at Bachelors's level.

Facts about this course

Every spring
Every spring
Teaching language