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Digital disputation: Ingvild Bruce

Master of Laws Ingvild Bruce will be defending the thesis Preventive Use of Surveillance Measures for the Protection of National Security. A normative and comparative study of Dutch, Norwegian and Swedish law for the degree of Ph.D. 

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Ingvild Bruce


The disputation will be digital and streamed directly using Zoom. You can download zoom or use your browser.

Participate at the trial lecture and disputation HERE


A digital version of the thesis can be ordered by e-mail to:

Information around the Trial lecture 

Adjudication committee

  • Professor Malcolm Langford, University of Oslo (head of committee) 
  • Professor dr. Bert-Jaap Koops, Tilburg University (1.  opponent) 
  • Dr. Lena Landström, Umeå University (2. opponent)

Chair of defence

Dean Ragnhild Hennum


  • Professor Erling Johannes Husabø 
  • Professor Anders Løvlie 


Since the turn of the millennium, many states have expanded the powers of their national security and intelligence services to subject individuals to surveillance with the purpose of protecting national security. Surveillance, for example in the shape of telephone and internet tapping and audio and camera surveillance is now permitted at an earlier point in the sequence of events that may lead to acts of espionage or terrorism. Moreover, new and more intrusive technologies are utilized. The development forms part of a general preventive trend, towards greater access for states to exert power over their citizens with the aim of reducing risk and preventing crime.

This dissertation views the legal regulation of the preventive use of surveillance measures through the lens of a democratic Rechtsstaat. It departs from the state’s fundamental obligation to both protect and respects its citizens, and presents a normative analytical framework for how the legal regulation of the preventive use of surveillance measures can be designed in order to respect as fully as possible principles of democracy and rule of law. It subsequently applies this framework to the national legislation of three states – the Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden. By critically analyzing and identifying deficiencies in the national legislation, it presents the outline of a new theoretical framework that can guide the adaptation, or preferably a complete restructuring, of the legislative systems in the three countries studied and beyond. 

The dissertation concludes that the preventive use of surveillance measures has a legitimate place in the democratic Rechtsstaat. However, it identifies a need for the law to stipulate a clearer norm for the behavior that may trigger such surveillance. Moreover, it suggests more explicit requirements of documentation that the norm is met in the specific case. The thesis outlines a proposal for such a norm.     


Published May 19, 2021 2:56 PM - Last modified June 11, 2021 12:01 PM