JUS5530 – Refugee and Asylum Law
Schedule, syllabus and examination date
Covid-19: Teaching and exams
The Covid-19 situation will continue to affect teaching and exam in the spring semester 2021. Updated information about lectures and exams can be found on the semester pages.
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.
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.
You may register for this course if you have admission to a Master’s programme at UiO or the faculty's exchange programme. You can also register for this course if you do not have admission to any programme at UiO, but meet the formal prerequistites.
All students are required meet the formal prerequistites.
Have you met the formal prerequisites at another institution than the University of Oslo, and the results are not formally registered at UiO, you must apply for admission to courses at Master’s level . Students with admission to Master’s degree programmes at other faculties than The Faculty of Law must also apply for admission.
Formal prerequisite knowledge
Students must fill one of these requirements:
- Passed 1st - 3rd year of the 5-years degree Master of Laws (Master i rettsvitenskap at UiO) (or exams that qualify for exemption for these) or
- Hold a 5-years Master’s degree in Laws (Master i rettsvitenskap at UiO) or equivalent.
Exemptions from the formal prerequisites will be given to students with admission to the faculty's own exchange or master’s degree programmes. This rule does not apply to students with admission to other master’s degree programmes at the University of Oslo, unless otherwise agreed.
Recommended previous knowledge
Three years of law studies.
- 10 credits overlap with JUR1530 – Refugee and Asylum Law (BA)
- 10 credits overlap with VALFLYKT – Flyktninge- og asylrett (discontinued)
- 10 credits overlap with JUXFLYKT – Flyktninge- og asylrett (discontinued)
- 10 credits overlap with JUTREFAS – Refugee and Asylum Law (discontinued)
- 10 credits overlap with PILREFAS – Refugee and Asylum Law (discontinued)
- 10 credits overlap with JUVOFLYKT
- 10 credits overlap with JUR5530 – Refugee and Asylum Law (discontinued)
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.
4 hour written examination.
Adjustments due to COVID-19:
In the spring semester 2021, the exam will be a 48 hour home exam, maximum 3000 words on master’s level and 2000 words on bachelor’s level.
Footnotes should be included in the word count of the main text. Not included in this count: front page (with name and 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.
(Normally the course has a 4 hour written school exam)
Examination support material
This is an open book digital school examination. You are permitted to use any materials written on paper during the examination. This includes books, lecture materials and your own notes, whether handwritten or printed. There are no restrictions on marking up or highlighting these written materials. No electronic support materials are allowed.
Use of sources and rules for citing.
The standard rules on cheating and plagiarism which apply to assignments apply also to the written open book examination. This means that you must provide a reference whenever you draw upon another person’s ideas, words or research in your answer to the exam question(s). You cannot copy text directly from textbooks, journal articles, court judgments etc. without highlighting that the text is copied.
Thus, pieces of text quoted verbatim from these and other sources must be italicised or otherwise highlighted so that it is obvious that the pieces of text are quotes.
Example of highlighting in a text:
"Laurent Bailay and Bernard Van der Lande propose to define a mobile payment as a “payment for products or services between two parties for which a mobile device, such as a mobile phone, plays a key role in the realization of the payment”. (European Commission, GREEN PAPER Towards an integrated European market for card, internet and mobile payments, page 5)"
Failure to cite sources or highlight quotes in your exam answer may be considered as evidence of cheating.
Language of examination
The examination text is given in English, and you submit your response in English.
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.
This guide is used by examiners for grading this course.
Explanations and appeals
Resit an examination
- Illness at exams / postponed exams
- Resitting an examination.
- There are special rules for resitting a passed examination in the master's programme in Law.
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.
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 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.