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2010/1 Module Catalogue
 Module Code: LAWM060 Module Title: EUROPEAN UNION LAW
Module Provider: School of Law Short Name: LAWM060
Level: M Module Co-ordinator: CLEARY AJ Miss (Schl of Law)
Number of credits: 30 Number of ECTS credits: 15
Module Availability
Assessment Pattern

Components of Assessment


Percentage weighting (%)


A 3,000 word researched essay on a set topic.


Three-hour examination

The examination will cover not only those areas dealt with in lectures and seminars but also those included in general and guided reading.


Module Overview
Module Aims

The Law of the European Union constitutes a unique and complex legal system which is equally binding on all its Member States and which impacts on the national legal systems of each to an ever greater extent. It is also a new legal order in international law and an increasingly an important legal force worldwide.  This module aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the constitutional and institutional framework of EU Law, and to serve as an introduction to the substantive law of the European Community.  It is intended to equip students with the foundational knowledge necessary to understand the more specialist areas of EC law they may encounter in their future careers, and to enable them to understand the interaction between national, supranational and international levels of law.  By examining the development and application of the law in its wider political and economic context, the special evolutionary and dynamic nature of EU and EC law will be better appreciated and understood. Particular emphasis will be put on studying the fundamental concepts of EU law, with a view to providing students with a practical understanding of current EU legal issues.  Students address such questions as:

  • What is the role of the European Court of Justice and the other institutions?
  • How have doctrines of EC law developed?
  • How is EU law made?  How can it be challenged?
  • What are the foundational freedoms of EC law?
  • What is the constitutional basis of the EU?
  • What is the status of the general principles of law in the EU legal order?
  • What is the Common/Internal/Single market?
  • What does it mean to be a citizen of the European Union?
  • How does the fundamental principle of free movement operate in practice?
  • Ito what extent is harmonisation the solution to barriers to national differences?
Learning Outcomes

At the end of the module, students should be able to:

  • Manipulate the various primary and secondary sources of European Union and Community Law
  •  Demonstrate a critical awareness of how the treaty based nature of EU law influences its   application in practice
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the substantive law of European Community integration
  • Identify the dynamic role of the European Court of Justice and the contribution of judicial activism to the development of the EU legal system;
  • Demonstrate a systematic understanding of the nature and operation of the Institutions of the European Union, and critically evaluate the processes of political and administrative decision making
  • Explain and analyse the unique nature of the ’new legal order’ of the EU and its relationship to the legal systems of the Member States
  • Demonstrate a conceptual understanding of the acquis communautaire regarding economic and social integration
  • Explain in detail the objectives of the internal market and its legal framework
  • Demonstrate a critical awareness of the extent to which the single market has been completed, and of the difficulties of both harmonisation and mutual recognition;
  • Apply acquired knowledge to complex problems, demonstrating both self-direction and originality in tackling and solving such problems and a critical awareness of current issues and new insights in EU law;
  •  Deal with complex issues both systematically and creatively, make sound judgements in the absence of complete data and communicate conclusions clearly to specialist and non-specialist audiences;
  •  Demonstrate a conceptual understanding that enables the student to evaluate critically current research and advanced scholarship in EU law
Module Content


  1. The Political Institutions of the European Union
  2. Foundational freedoms in the European Union Treaty system 
  3. The role and functions of the Court of Justice and the Court of First Instance  
  4. The sources of EU Law
  5. The effect of European Community/Union law in national courts
  6. The Doctrines of EC law
  7. The Role of Subsidiary
  8. Direct and indirect actions in the Court of Justice
  9. The Doctrine of State Liability and other remedies
  10. The nature and importance of economic policy and the concept of a Common/Single market
  11.  Background and development of the Free Movement of Goods
  12.  The Customs Union and the Common Customs Tariff
  13.  Fiscal Barriers to Trade
  14.  Quantitative Restrictions and Technical Barriers to Trade
  15.  Mutual recognition and the Cassis de Dijon doctrine
  16.  Harmonisation
  17. The scope and application of the principles of subsidiary and proportionality
  18. Free movement of people and European Citizenship
  19. Free movement of services
  20. Free movement of capital and Economic and Monetary Union


In the seminars students will be asked to research extensively to prepare set questions, and also to make presentations on set topics. A high degree of participation is expected. 

1.   The Institutions 
2.   Doctrines of EC law 
3.   Preliminary References 
4.   Direct Actions I 
5.   Direct Actions II 
6.   Free Movement of Goods I 
7.   Free Movement of Goods II 
8.   Free Movement of People and Citizenship 
9.   Free Movement of Services and Mutual Recognition 
10. Free Movement of Capital and EMU

Methods of Teaching/Learning

Run once, throughout the year 
2½ hours per week (1 two-hour lecture weekly and a seminar fortnightly) 

The method of teaching is by lectures and seminars. The lectures will introduce the students to the subject areas and provide an overview to enable students to understand the basic principles and underlying concepts.   The seminars will delve deeper into the complexities of the subject and consider the key principles, doctrines and theories of European Union law, relate these to the difficulties of reception into national law, and require the application of the law to practical situations. Students will be provided with preliminary reading references but will be expected to undertake additional independent research into the subject.   During seminars students will be expected to demonstrate their ability to apply that research to discuss given legal problems, to demonstrate self-direction and originality in tackling and proposing solutions to such problems, and to evaluate critically current research and advanced scholarship in relevant areas. Each student will be given at least one opportunity during the year to prepare and deliver a presentation on a set topic during a seminar session, and to respond to questions raised by other seminar participants on the topic. This presentation will be formatively assessed by the seminar leader and feedback given to the student on his/her performance. 

Students will receive separate training in the use of EU legal sources, in particular the use of internet sources and on-line database.

Selected Texts/Journals

Expected purchases:

Craig & de Búrca, EU Law: Texts, Cases and Materials  (Oxford University Press, 4th Edition 2007) 
Barnard C, The Substantive Law of the EU  (OUP,  2nd ed. 2007) 

Background Reading :

Szyszczak & Cygan Understanding EU Law (Sweet & Maxwell, 2005) 
Alter K. Establishing the Supremacy of European Law: ( Oxford : OUP, 2001) 
Arnull A. The European Union and its Court of Justice (OUP, 2nd. Ed. 2006) 
Brown & Jacobs, The European Court of Justice ( London : Sweet & Maxwell 5th Ed., 2000) 
Craig & de Búrca The Evolution of EU Law (Oxford: OUP, 1999) 
Douglas-Scott S. Constitutional Law of the European Union (Pearson, 2002) 
Hartley T. The Foundations of European Community Law, ( Oxford : OUP 6th Ed., 2007) 
Heukels & McDonnell The Action for Damages in Community Law (London: Kluwer, 1997) 
Laffan B. The Finances of the European Union (London: Macmillan, 1997) 
Lenaerts & Nuffel Constitutional Law of the European Union (Sweet & Maxwell, 2nd ed. 2004) 
Lonbay & Biondi Remedies for Breach of EC Law (Chichester: Wiley Chancery, 1997) 
Neunreither & Wiener European Integration after Amsterdam ( Oxford : OUP, 2000) 
Blockmans & Prechal Reconciling the Deepening and Widening of the European Union ( Cambridge University Press, 2008) 
O’Keeffe D. & Bavasso Judicial Review in EU Law Vol. 1 (Kluwer, 2000) 
Oliver P. Free Movement of Goods in the EEC (Sweet & Maxwell,  4th ed. 2003) 
Schermers, Heukels & Mead The Non-Contractual Liability of the European Communities (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff 1998) 
Shaw J. The Transformation of Citizenship in the EU (CUP, 2007) 
Shaw, J. The Economic & Social Law of the EU (Plagrave, 2007) 
Twomey & O’Keeffe (eds.) Legal Issues of the Amsterdam Treaty (Oxford: OUP, 1999) 
Twomey & O’Keeffe (eds.) Legal Issues of the Maastricht Treaty (Chichester: Wiley Chancery, 1994) 
Weiler J.H.H. The Constitution of Europe (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1999) 
Weiler, J.H.H., Begg I. and Peterson J. (eds.), Integration in an Expanding European Union: Reassessing the Fundamentals ( Oxford , Blackwell, 2004) 
Chalmers D. et al, European Union Law, Text and Materials ( Cambridge , Cambridge University Press, 2006) 
Arnull, A. The European Union and its Court of Justice (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1999) 
Spaventa, E. Free Movement of Persons in the EU: Barriers to Movement in their Constitutional Context (Kluwer, 2007) 
De Bùrca, G. EU Law and the Welfare State: In Search of Solidarity: Collected Courses of the Academy of European Law (OUP, 2005) 
White, R.C.A. Workers, Establishment, and Services in the European (OUP, 2004) 
M. Ferrera, The Boundaries of Welfare: European Integration and the New Spatial Politics (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2005) 
Von Bogdandy, A. & Bast, J. Principles of European Constitutional Law (Hart, 2007) 
Jans, J.H. et al, Europeanisation of Public Law (Europa Law Publishing, 2007) 
Jeorges C. & Dehousse R. (eds.) Good Governance in Europe’s Integrated Market  ( Oxford , Oxford University Press, 2002) 
Majone, G. Dilemmas of European Integration: The Ambiguities and Pitfalls of Integration by Stealth (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2005).  
Weatherill, S. Law and Integration in the European Union (Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1995) 

Reference only: 

Blackstone’s EU Treaties and Legislation 2008-9 

Academic journals:


  • Common Market Law Reports
  • Common Market Law Review
  • Yearbook of European Law
  • European Law Journal
  • European Court
  • European Law Review
  • European Public Law
  • Journal of Common Market Studies
  • Maastricht Journal of European & Comparative Law
  • Journal of European Public Policy
  • European Review of Public Law
  • European Journal of Legal Integration
  • Legal Issues of European Integration
  • Modern Law Review
  • Weekly Law Reports
  • European Voice


Online Resources

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