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School of Law

EU Law in Global Context

Course Code:
Unit value:
Taught in:
Term 2

Objectives and learning outcomes of the course

The course aims to provide students with a theoretical and empirical understanding of governance and law-making processes in the EU, of the relationship between EU law and other relevant legal systems especially international public law, human rights law and the national laws of member states, and of select substantive areas of Union law which have particular relevance to the EU’s external relations. The process of European integration will be examined as part of the wider phenomenon of globalisation and the move away of powers from the national and democratic institutions to less accountable international institutions.

At the end of this course, students will:

(1) Have a good understanding of the central themes of the history of EU integration; the EU’s institutional structure and its law-making processes, and of select areas of EU law.
(2) Understand the EU’s political and legal system in its international context.
(3) Understand the limits of democratic accountability and of the rule of law and the central role of judicial law making in its economic and political context.
(4) Critically analyse key themes in EU integration and the making, application and interpretation of legal rules as embedded within larger socio-political frameworks and international processes, in their historical and cultural context and influenced by numerous agencies (e.g. the political agendae of the Union institutions and of Member States, of international economic interests, international institutions and wider issues of political culture and history)
(5) Illustrate this understanding through the use of specific case examples and legal issues, empirical evidence and by conducting independent research with particular emphasis on the analysis of the methods of judicial reasoning and socio-political, comparative approaches to law and governance, administrative and constitutional law.

Scope and syllabus

(This is an indicative list and may vary from  year to year)

This course focuses on the institutions, law-making and substantive law of the EU in their international context. It will explore these areas on the basis of key politico-legal concepts and traditions such as the rule of law, legal certainty, fundamental rights, democracy and transparency and accountability in government, and examine the politics, institutions and laws of the EU as part of the dual processes of globalisation and the erosion of representative self-government and democratic accountability.  Topics will include:
[Topic One] Origins and History of European Integration in the context of globalisation
[Topic Two] Legislative Institutions of the EU in their international context
[Topic Three] Legislative Powers and Acts
[Topic Four] Relations between legal systems I: EU law in the legal systems of the Member States
[Topic Five] Relations between legal systems II: International Law in the Union legal system
[Topic Six] Fundamental Rights I: role, origins, the role of the CJEU and the German FCC as well as other constitutional courts
[Topic Seven]       Fundamental Rights II: The ECHR and the EU, and relations between the Union legal system to other international human rights regimes.
[Topic Eight] Remedies available to private litigants I: Direct Actions
[Topic Nine] Remedies available to private litigants II: Indirect Actions and Tort actions
[Topic Ten] The internal market I: Free Movement of Goods
[Topic Eleven]      The internal market II: Free Movement of Persons

Method of assessment

Assessment weighting: 100% coursework (one 6,000 word essay). Resubmission of coursework regulations apply.

Suggested reading

Arnull, Anthony: The Principle of Effective Judicial Protection in EU law: An Unruly Horse?, 2011, Vol. 36, issue 1, p. 51.
BARNARD Catherine. ''A proportionate response to proportionality in the field of collective action'' in European Law Review, v. 37, n. 2, April 2012, p. 117-135.
BAST Jürgen. ''New categories of acts after the Lisbon reform: dynamics of parliamentarization in EU law'' in Common Market Law Review, v. 49, n. 3, June 2012, p. 885-928.
Beck, Gunnar: The Legal Reasoning of the Court of Justice of the EU, Oxford: Hart, 2013.
BECKER Peter. ''The European budget and the principles of solidarity and added value'' in The International Spectator, v. 47, n. 3, September 2012, p. 116-129.
BENEDETTO Giacomo, MILIO Simona (eds). European Union budget reform: institutions, policy and economic crisis. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012.
BIONDI Andrea, EECKHOUT Piet, RIPLEY Stefanie (eds). EU law after Lisbon, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012.
CASTELLANO Giuliano (et al.). ''Reforming European Union Financial Regulation: thinking through governance models'', in European Business Law Review, v. 23, n. 3, June 2012, p. 409-446.
Craig, Paul, and DE BÚRCA Gráinne, EU law – Text, Law and Materials, 5th ed., Oxford:OUP, 2011.
Davies, Arwell, “STATE LIABILITY FOR JUDICIAL DECISIONS IN EUROPEAN UNION AND INTERNATIONAL LAW”, The International and Comparative Law Quarterly, Vol. 61, No. 3 (JULY 2012), pp. 585-611
DE BÚRCA Gráinne, WEILER J.H.H. The worlds of European constitutionalism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012.
de Búrca, Gráinne :THE ROAD NOT TAKEN: THE EUROPEAN UNION AS A GLOBAL HUMAN RIGHTS ACTOR, The American Journal of International Law, Vol. 105, No. 4 (October 2011), pp. 649-693
DE WILDE Pieter. ''Politicisation of the EU budget: conflict and the constraining dissensus'' in West European Politics, v. 35, n. 5, September 2012, p. 1075-1094.
Eckes, Christina: EU Accession to the ECHR: Between Autonomy and Adaptation, The Modern Law Review, Vol. 76, No. 2 (MARCH 2013), pp. 254-285
Eeckhout, Piet: EU External Relations Law, Second Edition, Oxford: OUP,2013

EU COURT OF JUSTICE. The Court of Justice: case-law. Luxembourg: EUR-OP, 2012.
FOSTER Nigel. EU law: directions. Oxford University Press, 2012.
Hartley, Trevor: European Union Law in a Global Context. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004.
Horsley, Thomas, 'Reflections on the role of the Court of Justice as the “motor” of European integration: Legal limits to judicial lawmaking', CMLR (2013) Issue 4, pp. 931–964
KEIRSE Anne, LOOS Marco (eds). Alternative ways to Ius commune: the Europeanisation of private law. Cambridge: Intersentia, 2012.
KLABBERS Jan. The European Union in international law. Paris: Pedone, 2012. Pieter Jan Kuijper, Jan Wouters, Frank Hoffmeister,Geert de Baere, and Thomas Ramopoulos: The Law of EU External Relations
Cases, Materials, and Commentary on the EU as an International Legal Actor, Oxford: OUP, 2013
Kochenov, D. (2013), The Right to Have What Rights? EU Citizenship in Need of Clarification. European Law Journal, 19: 502–516.
Magnussen, A.-M. and Banasiak, A. (2013), Juridification: Disrupting the Relationship between Law and Politics?. European Law Journal, 19: 325–339.
MÜLLER-GRAFF Peter-Christian, SELVIG Erling (eds). European law in an era of crisis. Berlin: BWV Berliner Wissenschafts-Verlag, 2012.
NICOLAIDES Phedon. ''Administrative capacity for effective implementation of EU law'' in EIPAscope, n. 1, 2012, p. 5-11.
PARISH Matthew. ''International courts and the European legal order'' in European Journal of International Law, v. 23, n. 1, February 2012, p. 141-153.
PEERS Steve (ed.). EU immigration and asylum law: text and commentary. Leiden: M. Nijhoff, 2012.
SCHIEK Dagmar. Economic and social integration: the challenge for EU constitutional law. Edward Elgar, 2012.
SEERDEN René (ed.). Administrative law of the European Union, its member states and the United States: a comparative analysis. Cambridge: Intersentia, 2012.
STEFAN Oana. ''European Union soft law: new developments concerning the divide between legally binding force and legal effects'' in The Modern Law Review, v. 75, n. 5, September 2012, p. 879-893.
van der Schyff, Gerhard: “The Constitutional Relationship between the European Union and its Member States: The
Role of National Identity in Article 4(2) TEU”, European Law Review 2012, vol. 37, issue 6, p. 563-583.
WEATHERILL Stephen. Cases and materials on EU law. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012.