JUS5831 – Environmental Law and Economics

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

This course empowers law students to think “outside the box” of doctrine and positive law while retaining scholarly rigour. It’s aim is, first, that the student obtains a good understanding of problems, ends and means in the law and economics of the environment. Here, an introduction is given to how problems, end(s), and means are defined in environmental and welfare economics. Topics may include: pollution as an economic problem; “solving” an environmental problem; measuring costs and benefits of pollution.

The second aim is that the student understands well the use of legislation-centered and administration-centered tools. Here, such tools are discussed in an environmental and welfare economic perspective. Topics may include: environmental taxes according to the Pigouvian tradition; the role of legal rights in the Coasian perspective(s); land use controls, emission allowances and concessionary systems; Emission Trading Systems; the core arguments in the federalism debate ("harmonization versus regulatory competition"/"the level playing field argument versus the subsidiarity principle").

The third aim is that the student learns about the role of private law and property law (and thus courts) in a public policy perspective. Topics may include: property rules versus liability rules, herein on the role of "tolerance limits" (reasonableness, nuisance principles); basic points in the economic analysis of the decisions to sue and settle – servitudes and their relation to land use planning (zoning).

Finally a fourth aim is that the student’s understanding not only relates to the environment in a general way, but also becomes context-specific in the sense that the student should be familiar with ways to apply the general insights to issues like climate change, local air pollution, water pollution and soil contamination.

If desirable, separate time will be set aside for discussion or comments to lectures or reading material. A set of exercises may also be handed out.

For students enrolled in Rettsvitenskap (jus) (master - 5 år): Have you considered a specialization as part of your degree? The course is part of the profile Naturressurser og miljø

Read more about profiles.

Learning outcome

The students learn how to perceive and analyze alternative solutions to environmental problems and/or problems of natural resources overuse/underuse.

The course is meant as a specialist course for students with an educational background in law and also meant as a specialization for lawyers at work.


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.

When your admission is in order you must register for courses in StudentWeb


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

Introductory course in ecomonics or economic analysis of law.


There are no lectures or teaching for this course. All literature and auxiliary materials are in English.


4 hour written examination.

Examination support material

Regulations for support materials permitted at examination for courses taught in English . Please read all three chapters.

Previous exam papers

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.

Guidelines for the evaluation of grades 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 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

Facts about this course






No teaching/supervision, only a final examination in this course in the spring semester 2019.


Spring 2019

This course is discontinued. Students who wish to take a retake of this course have a last opportunity spring 2019. 

Teaching language