EU Law I

Course Description: 

This course introduces students to the theory, history, and basic constitutional features of the European Union (EU). As one of the world’s largest economic blocs and most important political and law-making organizations, the EU plays a key role in regulating the global economy. As such, it is important for international business lawyers to gain a basic understanding of its operation. This course will explore the legal and conceptual origins of the EU, the roles and responsibilities of its primary institutions (the Commission, Council, Parliament, and Court of Justice), its most important constitutional principles (such as supremacy and direct effect), and the nature of EU law in relation to the domestic law of its Member States.

Learning Outcomes: 

By the end of this course, students should:

  • Be able to discuss the objectives, competences, and institutions of the EU, both from a contemporary and a historical perspective.
  • Understand the law- and decision-making processes of the EU, the hierarchy of norms, and the effect of EU law in the legal orders of the EU’s Member States.
  • Be able to explain the crucial role played by the ECJ in the uniform application and enforcement of EU law.
  • Understand recent developments and unresolved issues in the institutional law of the EU, the power dynamics of the EU, and the course of future development of EU law.

In addition, students should develop their skills, including:

  • Interpersonal communication skills – mastering EU legal terminology through exposure, repetition, and use in class
  • Technology skills – learning to work with the EU website and resource databases
  • Cultural sensitivity and diversity – feeling comfortable working with different legal systems and traditions, applying comparative principles
    • Critical thinking – developing the ability to analyze, compare, and critique different legal approaches to problem solving

Because it is part of the condensed Module 1 schedule, this course will be graded pass/fail, on the basis of adequate attendance, preparation, and participation, as well as a 2-hour open book exam.

Class participation grades will make up 30% of the final grade.

The 2-hour open book exam will make up 70% of the final grade, and will evaluate students’ knowledge and critical thinking skills on the basis of two general categories:

  • The meaning, features, and role of the core concepts addressed in the course (e.g. EU history and institutions, concepts such as direct effect, primacy, and conferral, etc.)
  • Application of EU Law concepts to hypothetical cases