EU Constitutional Law - Advanced

Course Description: 

The course consists of fourteen class hours dedicated to providing an in depth analysis of the constitutional law of the European Union. The course is intended to focus on major themes within the Union’s constitutional law in order to answer the question “What kind of polity is the European Union?”, to provide an in-depth analysis of the Court of Justice, how it reasons and what are the most successful ways of litigating before it and finally, to assess the constitutional future of the Union in the light of the financial crisis. The course will focus on three main areas:  institutional and political matters (the role of the Court, how it reasons, and relationships between the Union and Member States), fundamental values of the Union (democracy, citizenship, equality and secularism) and the capacity of the Union and its structures to meet current and future challenges.

Learning Outcomes: 
  1. An understanding of the EU constitutional law, how it functions and the values it espouses.
  2. A good understanding of the major issues in contemporary European Union constitutional law.
  3. Ability to understand and criticize the actual operation of the EU’s legal system and constitutional order.
  4. Ability to demonstrate substantial knowledge of the fundamental structures and norms underpinning EU constitutional law.
  5. An understanding of the tensions between the Union’s claim to supremacy in its area of competence and competing national constitutional narratives.
  6. Ability to place EU constitutional law in a comparative context.
  7. An understanding of the kind of polity the European Union represents.
  8. A clear understanding of the nature of the problems faced by the Union and its ability to resolve them.

If the number of students is not too high, the final grade will be based on in-class participation [20%], a class presentation [20%] and an essay on an approved topic [60%]. If the number of students is too high to permit reliable assessment of class participation then the essay will account for 70% of the mark with the group presentation accounting for 30%.



Introduction to EU Constitutional Law