Advanced EU Constitutional Law

Course content

This course will give students interested in the European Union an opportunity to explore topics pertaining to its constitutional law, as well as societal problems and opportunities facing the EU. 

 

The main objectives of the course are:


1. To provide students with an overview of EU constitutional law. This includes the law governing the EU institutions and the relationship between the EU and the Member States. Special attention will be given to the Court of Justice of the EU. We will study the key concepts governing the Court’s role in building the EU’s constitution and promoting European integration, as well as the principles and techniques which the Court uses to adjudicate constitutional questions.

 

2. To encourage students to think critically about how EU constitutional law has developed from 1957 until today. This involves understanding the way in which the Treaties are written, the democratic legitimacy of the institutions, the role of the Court and the development of its case law, as well as the constitutional implications of the enlargements of the EU and the gradual expansion of policy areas covered by EU law.

 

3. To address current constitutional challenges such as: the impact of the Eurozone economic crisis on European democracy; the role of constitutional law in addressing the climate crisis; the refugee reception crisis of 2O15 and its constitutional aftermath; post-Brexit Europe and the state of European integration in the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

4. To offer students a broad understanding of the European constitutional order and its main actors, an in-depth critical knowledge of the forces behind European integration and an appreciation for the ways in which constitutional law and politics interacts.

Learning outcome

The course will balance constitutional theory with legal practise. The students will be able to:
 

1. Define the key concepts of EU constitutional law. This includes both concepts governing the constitutional structure, such as sincere cooperation, retained powers, subsidiarity and proportionality, as well as concepts concerning the legal status of the individual such as citizenship and fundamental rights.


2. Evaluate the legal reasoning of the Court of Justice by being able to answer questions such as; How is a judgement constructed and written?  How are legal concepts defined and used? How may we assess the outcome?


3. Analyse the interplay between law and politics in treaty making, law making and case law.
 

4. Discuss the problems and opportunities of EU constitutional law; in particular as it relates to current problems such as, but not limited to, threats to democratic decision-making, income inequality, the environment and migration.  
 

5. Question and theorize the relationship between the EU’s legal order, the international legal order and national legal systems.
 

6. Formulate legal problems and construct impactful legal argumentation in the field of EU constitutional law, both in writing and in oral presentation in class.

In class, we expect active participation and dialogue. Students should generally come to class prepared, having read the materials and outlined the main arguments, problems and issues, which the reading materials raised. Teaching and learning activities will include:
• Short student presentations in each session of the case-law of the Court of Justice or of journal articles
• Peer instruction, especially after presentations
• Group work, and peer-discussion
• Role play
• “Mind-map” drawing in order to systematize the materials discussed in class
• 10-min nonstop writing exercise to clear possible misunderstandings after individual lectures,summarize the main points of the lecture and discuss them with peers or/and lecturer
• Outline of an essay, in bullet points, to practice the structure of the legal argument
• Case study and inductive learning (hypothetical cases)

Max. 750 pages consisting of selected articles, book chapters and relevant case-law

Since the course is taught in English the students must have good English skills. They must also have basic knowledge of EU Law and Constitutional Law. To foreign students, who are not familiar with EU law, we recommend to follow the Introduction to EU law, which is offered in parallel.

Oral
Individual
Collective
Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
Peer feedback (Students give each other feedback)
ECTS
15 ECTS
Type of assessment
Oral examination, 20 minutes
Oral exam based on synopsis, 20 minutes
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
External censorship

Single subject courses (day)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Preparation
  • 356,5
  • Seminar
  • 56
  • English
  • 412,5