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Disputation: Kurt Weltzien

Cand. jur Kurt Weltzien at the Department of Private Law will be defending the thesis Boycott as a tool in industrial action for the degree of Ph.D.

Original title: Boikott i arbeidskampsammenheng

The disputation will be held in Norwegian

Kurt Weltzien

Photo: Jorunn Tharaldsen

Trial lecture - time and place

Adjudication committee

  • Professor Giuditta Cordero-Moss, University of Oslo (1. opponent)
  • Senior lecturer Petra Herzfeld Olsson, Uppsala University (2. opponent)
  • Partner dr. juris Terese Smith Ulseth, Schjødt

Chair of defence

Vicedean Alf Petter Høgberg



"Boycott???  - Is it really possible to write a PhD about boycott?"
The term "boycott" can provide various associations. Some think of South Africa and apartheid, others at Israeli oranges and still others on the boycott of ships under flags of convenience. Under Norwegian law, the Boycott Act of 1947 regulates the use of boycott. The regulation is primarily important in labor law, especially collective labor law, even though the regulation as such is general.

What is a boycott?

A boycott is legally defined as a "call for, agreement or similar measures to force, harm or penalize someone, with aim to hinder or impede a persons or business economical intercourse with others", cfr. section 1 of the Boycott Act. From this definition, it is not easy to understand which actions or omissions that fall under the law. An important part of the thesis has therefore been to investigate which actions and omissions that fall under the scope of the Act. A typical example of an industrial action that may have a side to the Boycott Act is a conditional sympathy strike. Such conditional sympathy strike / boycott is an especially effective tool because it does not take place a complete work stoppage by workers' side.

Are there no restrictions on use boycott?

There are several restrictions on the use of boycott. Further to section 2 of the Boycott Act, there are a number of constraints on when a boycott is "unlawful". These constraints are formulated as discretionary legal standards. A boycott is, for example, unlawful if there is a "breach of contract," if it conducted by "unlawful means" or if it deemed "improper". Since an unlawful boycott may be sanctioned by compensation or penalties, it is important to analyze the content of the legal standard in more detail. An important part of the research effort has therefore been concentrated on examination of what lies in these discretionary standards. The regulation of boycott in Norwegian law came as a result for the hard industrial disputes in early 1900s. However, the international developments related to human rights and EU / EEA law in the late 1900s, are today affecting the interpretation of the discretionary standards to a large extent. My research objective has been to try and develop a more transparent and tangible application of the standards today.

Published Sep. 1, 2016 11:21 AM - Last modified Jan. 23, 2020 2:46 PM