European Union governance and European integration rely for a large part on law and judicial institutions. For this reason, it is important for anyone engaged in EU studies to acquire a basic understanding of the Union's law. The course, aimed at non-lawyers, adopts a law-in-context and critical approach to EU legal matters. It requires active student participation and preparation, and relies on the 'case method' (i.e. case analysis and discussion), as well as practical cases and case studies, in addition to readings of relevant academic literature.
The course covers essential institutional and substantive matters. We start with a critical overview of the European Union’s institutional framework and law-making processes. We then familiarize ourselves with EU legal methods (i.e. methods of interpretation, ‘precedent’, judicial procedures, case reading/briefing,…). We identify the various sources of EU law and their interactions, and analyses the fundamental principles governing the relationships between legal orders in the EU (i.e. supremacy, direct and indirect effects, constitutional pluralism). We study the judicial modes of development and enforcement of EU law involving both EU and national level institutions, before exploring in more depth selected aspects of substantive EU law, such as the internal market (i.e. free movement of goods, services, capital and persons); social policy; external relations; freedom, security and justice; other areas depending on student interests. We end with a critical appraisal of political sciences’ perspectives on legal dynamics of European integration.
At the end of the course, students should: - have a basic knowledge of EU legal history; - be familiar with the main EU institutions; - have a basic understanding of the main decision- and law-making processes in the EU; - identify the main EU legal instruments and norms, and their relationship to one another as well as to domestic law; - demonstrate a basic knowledge of the types of judicial remedies available before EU courts; - be able to assess critically the main political sciences’ approaches to legal integration in Europe; - be familiar with core aspects of EU substantive law, as well as selected areas. - locate and analyze EU legal sources; - understand the basic elements of EU legal reasoning (including methods of interpretation and ‘jurisprudence constante’ approach); - solve legal disputes involving basic EU law.