HLAW4100 – Fundamentals of Health Law

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

The course focuses on the impact of international law on the regulation of public health systems. Therefore, it starts by identifying the system for global regulation of health law and policies, including underlying principles of International Public Law, Human Rights Law and Health Law, as well as global and regional health governance institutions and actors (World Trade Organization (WTO), World Health Organization (WHO), the European Union (EU) and non-governmental organizations (NGOs)/civil society). By identifying the global system for regulation of health law and policies, the course also intends to explain the ratio of regulatory intervention in national public health systems. The course addresses issues such as access to medicines, people’s rights to health care, market competition in health care, regulation of health professionals’ qualifications, and regulation of pharmaceuticals. These issues are all influenced by legal standards as defined by international law. At the end of the course students should have an overview of the system for global (and EU) health governance, central international health rules and institutions (WTO, WHO, EU), and an understanding of the interface between international law/EU law and national health law and policies.

Learning outcome


You will gain knowledge of:

  • Principles of International Public Law and Human Rights Law
  • How global (and regional) institutions in the health area are organized and operate: WTO, WHO, EU, NGOs/civil society
  • The regulation of health law and policies in the European Union
  • The interface between global (and EU) law, human rights, trade/competition and health
  • The possible implications of global and (primarily) EU health governance for national health systems and policies


You will learn how to:

  • Interpret and understand basic international law and EU law in the health care sector
  • Understand the concept of global health governance
  • Understand the basic EU principles of competition law and free movement of services, goods and persons, and their relevance for the regulation of health care (focus on the regulation of mobility of patients, health professions, health care services and pharmaceuticals)
  • Analyze the relationship between international law and national health systems

General competence

You will be able to:

  • Recognize different regulatory regimes in the health care sector
  • Understand the role of NGOs/civil society in global health governance
  • Understand the role of the WTO, WHO and the EU in public health rule-making
  • Understand how global and regional health governance institutions (WTO, WHO, EU) affect national regulations in the health area


Students who are admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in Studentweb.

If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.



Mandatory assignment - one of the following alternatives must be chosen:

  1. Groups of 2-4 students co-author and present a term paper and comment on another group's term paper. Presentations, comments, discussions and feedback take place in a plenary session, which is mandatory.
  2. Single-author and submit a term paper. The only feedback that will be given is whether the paper is approved or not.

Term paper requirements: min 2-max 3 pages, font: 12p Times New Roman, 1,5 line spacing.

Term papers must be submitted in Canvas. Information about deadlines and groups will be made in due time in lectures. All term papers must be approved in order to pass the course.

In order to receive the most out of this course, we highly recommend that students choose option 1



Mandatory assignment must be approved in order to sit for the exam.


The Board at the University of Oslo has decided to introduce detailed guidelines for all examinations, which take place at the University. The description of the grading should be clear and transparent. This is done to ensure alignment between learning outcomes, assignments, and grading. The Faculty of Medicine has developed a web page with information regarding exams and the grading procedures (norwegian version).

Digital examination

The written examination is conducted in the digital examination system Inspera. You will need to familiarize yourself with the digital examination arrangements in Inspera.

Read more about written examinations using Inspera.

Examination support material

No examination support material is allowed.

Use of sources and citation

You should familiarize yourself with the rules that apply to the use of sources and citations. If you violate the rules, you may be suspected of cheating/attempted cheating.

Language of examination

For students at Eu-HEM: English

For students at HEPAM: The examination set will be given in English. Answers can be given in Norwegian, Swedish, Danish or 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.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

For HEPMA students:

For Eu-HEM students:

An EU-hem student cannot present her or himself for the examination in a course more than two times. There will be held re-sits for EU-hem students who have failed an exam or who have legitimate absence (usually illness) in January and August. If you are entitled to a re-sit you must contact the student advisor via email no longer than one week after the result of the exam has been published.

Withdrawal from an examination

It is possible to take the 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.

Facts about this course






Every autumn


Every autumn

Offered last time FALL 2022

Teaching language