SOAS University of London

School of Law

EU Law in Global Context

Module Code:
Taught in:
Term 1

The module 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.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

  • To understand 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;
  • To understand the EU’s political and legal system in its international context;
  • To 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;
  • To 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 agenda of the Union institutions and of Member States, of international economic interests, international institutions and wider issues of political culture and history);
  • To 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.

Method of assessment

  • Coursework: 100% (4000 words)

Suggested reading

  • Damian Chalmers, European Union Law – Text and Materials, CUP 2014
  • Gunnar Beck, The Legal Reasoning of the Court of Justice of the EU, Bloomsbury Publishing 2013.
  • Eeckhout, Piet: EU External Relations Law, Second Edition, Oxford: OUP,2013
  • Hartley, Trevor: European Union Law in a Global Context. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004.
  • James Holland & Julian Webb, Learning Legal Rules: A Students' Guide to Legal Method and Reasoning, 8th edition, OUP 2013, Chapters on precedent, statutory interpretation and EU law


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules