EU law LA2024

This module will appeal to students who enjoy public law or who have an interest in public affairs, politics, economics or international relations.

This module examines EU institutions and law-making powers as well as the key questions of the impact of EU law on national law and its overall consequences for business enterprises and individuals.

Topics covered

  • Introduction.
  • The Treaties and their significance. History and reforms of the founding treaties. Present structure. Characteristics of the EU treaties. The Brexit negotiations.
  • The institutions of the European Union. The political institutions structure and powers (European Council, Council of Ministers, European Commission, European Parliament) and the judicial power in the EU (European Court of Justice, General Court jurisdiction).
  • EU law making and sources of laws. Law-making procedures. Co-decision procedure secondary legislation. Regulations and directives. General principles of law.
  • The constitutional principles of EU law. Direct effect. Supremacy. The doctrine of consistent interoperation. State liability.
  • Free movement of goods. Definition of ‘goods’. Scope of application. Quantitative restrictions. Definition of measures having equivalent effect. Distinctly and indistinctly applicable measures. Derogations. Proportionality test.
  • Services and establishment. Definition of ‘services’ and ‘establishment’. Scope of application. Quantitative restrictions. Definition of measures having equivalent effect. Distinctly and indistinctly applicable measures. Derogations. Proportionality test.
  • Free movement of capital. Definition of ‘capital’. Scope of application. Access to market. Application to third countries. Derogations. Proportionality test.
  • Trade harmonisation. Competence and approximation. The limits of EU power. Article 114.
  • Competition policy. The notion of ‘agreement’. ‘Decisions by association of undertakings’. ‘Concerted practice’. Exemptions under Article 101(3). Enforcement and Regulation 1/2003. The notion of dominance and abuse under Article 102.
  • Free movements of persons and citizenship. Definition of ‘workers’. Scope of application. Principle of non-discrimination on grounds of nationality derogations. Proportionality test. Emergence of concept of citizenship. Scope of application Articles 20 and 21.
  • EU human rights. Human rights as general principles of law. The Charter of Fundamental Rights. Scope of application. The role of the European Court of Justice.

Learning outcomes

If you complete the module successfully you should be able to:

  • Contextualise the modern-day operation of European Union law and the internal market within its historical origins, its treaties and its institutional frameworks
  • Explain the general principles of EU Law and highlight their relevance in judicial decision making
  • Identify the legal sources of the four freedoms and apply relevant statutes and case law to explore the ambit of these freedoms
  • Understand the concept of abuse of EU law and the regulation of the internal market as related to competition policy
  • Evaluate how the balance of fundamental rights and the freedoms is achieved as discussed in seminal jurisprudence and wider academic debates
  • Paraphrase and critique key arguments advanced in judicial opinions and academic writings
  • Use appropriate legal terminology and abbreviations specific to EU law
  • Locate and interrogate key primary and secondary sources relevant to EU law.

Assessment

3hr 15 mins unseen examination

Essential reading

  • Horspool, M., and M. Humphreys and M. Wells-Greco European Union law. (Oxford:  Oxford University Press, 2018) 10th edition [ISBN 9780198818854].