European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI)



Mr Aslak SYSE



Aslak Syse is a Professor at the Department of Public and International Law at the University of Oslo.

A. Syse holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Music, Sociology and Criminology (1971), a Masterís Degree in Medicine (1972), a Masterís Degree in Law (1988) and a Doctoral Degree in Law (1996) Ė all from the University of Oslo. During the first 18 years of his career, A. Syse practised medicine, including seven years as Regional Medical Director for mentally disabled persons in Finnmark (the northernmost county in Norway), and two years as District Medical Officer in the Mtoko District, Zimbabwe. A. Syse joined the Department of Public and International Law at the University of Oslo in 1989 and was appointed Professor of Legal Sciences in 1997. He was elected Director of the Department for a four-year period from 2010 to 2013.

A. Syse has long been interested in international human rights and anti-discrimination law. His doctoral thesis concerns the legal situation of persons with general learning disabilities. He headed the Norwegian Law Commission producing the White Paper for the Discrimination and Accessibility Act from 2006, concerning the rights of persons with disabilities.

He was Head of the Norwegian Equality and Anti-Discrimination Tribunal from 2006 to 2009. The Tribunal enforces the various Norwegian equality and anti-discrimination acts, the most important being: the Gender Equality Act; the Act on Prohibition of Discrimination on the basis of ethnicity, national origin, ancestry, skin colour, language, religious and ethical orientation (the Discrimination Act); the Act on Prohibition of Discrimination on the basis of disability (Discrimination and Accessibility Act); and the anti-discrimination regulations in the Labour Environment Act.

Throughout his academic career, A. Syse has focused on law and the welfare state, drawing, among other things, from his experience as a clinical physician. He has published a series of articles and monographs on various topics, which include: the legal status of persons with disabilities; the concept of individual rights in the welfare state; and the normative aspects of applying coercion within the field of psychiatry. A. Syse has just revised his two monographs in the fields of, respectively, patientsí rights and patient injury compensation, and is currently revising his text book on mental health legislation, besides editing text books concerning welfare law, together with Professor A. KjŲnstad.