This course is discontinued

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

New course code starting from the springsemester 2012 - please see the website for JUS5530 – Refugee and Asylum Law (the course now gives 10 credits).

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 at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams
they wish to sign up for by registering a study plan in StudentWeb.

You may register for this course if you have admission to a Master of Law-programme at UiO, the faculty's exchange-programme or have admission to Law-electives at masters-level. All applicants must fill the formal prerequisites.

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


Formal prerequisite knowledge

  • Admission to the faculty’s exchange-programme or
  • Active study-right for a study programme, masters-level at the University of Oslo or
  • Norwegian Masters of Laws degree or equivalent or
  • Passed forth year, 96 – Cand. Jur programme (or exams that are equivalent) or
  • Passed JUR3000, Masters of Laws programme at the University of Oslo (or exams that are equivalent).

Recommended previous knowledge

Three years of law studies.

Overlapping courses




4 hour written examination.

Examination support material

Auxiliary materials allowed during examinations for courses taught in English.

Recommended/Special Material

Language of examination

Students may answer the examination question in English, Norwegian, Swedish or Danish pursuant
to Regulations governing studies and examinations at the University of Oslo. (§ 5.4 Forskrift om studier og eksamener ved Universitetet i Oslo)

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.

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.

Please se Detailed regulations for the Faculty of Law, Chapter 3 regarding application, responsibilities and special measures.


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


This subject is taught at Master 's level. The subject is also taught at Bachelor's level (15 ECTS credits), see JUR1530 – Refugee and Asylum Law (BA).
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






Spring 2011

Starting from spring 2012, the course will continue with a new course code. Please see the website for JUS5530 – Refugee and Asylum Law


Spring 2011

Starting from spring 2012, the course will continue with a new course code. Please see the website for JUS5530 – Refugee and Asylum Law

Teaching language