2431.14 - Constitutional democracy

Course number
Constitutional democracy
Bachelor degree or equivalent with adequate component of law
To provide insight into constitutional democracy, specially the legal basis for political action and the restrictions that constitutional law and international conventions lay on the governance and administration. Emphasis will be placed on historical and comparative understanding of developments in the West-Nordic countries. Furthermore, examining the many legal sources in the field, that is marked by flexible practises in constant evolution, principles that have to be opened and specified in interpretation based on solid understanding of the theory of legal criteria. In addition to studying the many differing law creating institutions, parliament and administration, federal institutions, special conflict tribunals, and not least the court system with the Supreme Courts at their peak. These various sources of law and constitutional institutions interact to create a diverse and evolving system. The course is intended for law students in addition to others interested in politics and constitutionalism.
The course takes up five theme, constitutions, constitutional institutions, constitutional rights, West-Nordic constitutions and constitutional review. These themes are analyses from legal texts, decisions and scholarly writings, always emphasising the practical understanding of their importance for futures parliamentarians, officials, judges, representatives and citizen in a constitutional democracy. The five themes are repeated during the final intensive week. The students have the opportunity to be acquainted with many different sources but will give prominence to the methods for analysing arisen or hypothetical situations and argue both the potential solutions and the most constructive solutions in the given situation.
Learning and teaching approaches
40 hours, of which 36 are organised into a schedule and others include visits and special exercises. The last week prior to the exam is organised as intensive teaching with he foremost Nordic expert in the field. The teaching shall be organised as lectures and exercises in addition to student presentations.
Learning outcomes
The students shall: -Describe constitutional democracy in the West-Nordic countries and their relevant sources of law, powers, institutions, and dispute resolutions. -Analyse the relevance of a federal arrangement in this context, which influence common policy areas and international law and what powers federal and international institutions have on constitutional democracy -Describe the relevant methods and challenges of interpretation, including the importance of dynamic practise and various forms of custom. -Describe basic and special rights of the citizen in a constitutional democracy. -Describe the powers and practises of various dispute resolving institutions and the opportunity to use these institutions. -Describe the importance of constitutional democracy for citizen, administrators, government, parliament, courts and other institutions, including municipal, federal and international. -Analyse difficult legal and philosophical challenges using comparative methods and demonstrating understanding of all relevant types of legal sources from the domestic jurisdiction as well as neighbouring countries and internationally. -Analyse the development that can be seen or expected in various fields of constitutional democracy. -Present and pursue arguments in a balanced manner with an understanding of the differing interests, scopes of interpretation, and developments of the field. -Present and pursue arguments with an understanding of the practical importance of the diverse provisions, customs and evolved practises. -Presenting and formulating knowledge and arguments professionally and eloquently marked by clear organisation and context.
Assessment method
Written exam that shall be answered in English, French, Danish or Norwegian
Kári á Rógvi