Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Introduction to European Union Law

LEVEL 02 - Years 2, 3 in Modular Undergraduate Course


DEPARTMENT European and Comparative Law

DESCRIPTION This study-unit will introduce the student to EU Law and its legal order, by taking the student chronologically through the various legal milestones in the development of the European Union from its inception in the EEC and other Treaties using a thematic approach. The study-unit will chart a chronology of legal and institutional evolution with such themes as supranationalism, democratization, constitutionalisation, integration through law, through the beginnings based on intergovernmental treaty law rooted in international law to an autonomous system of law with a hybrid international and constitutional nature, a sui generis system of law. It will move in this way right up to the present day, highlighting this evolution at each stage and complementing and contextualising the students' study of national constitutional law but showing how the union has evolved into a sui generis legal entity governed by its own law and composed of features that are not explained by any national law or international law paradigm. It sets the groundwork for the full treatment of EU Law in the second year of the degree course of the LLB. Tutorials will be delivered to assist the students on the topics covered during the lectures.

Study-unit Aims:

The main aim of this study-unit is to show how European Union law establishes its own paradigm, so that the student will be able to approach the study of the legal order of the Union in the second year from this paradigm in full awareness that EU Law is not to be understood in national law (even constitutional) terms or in standard international law terms. This understanding is essential to the proper understanding of the legal order and the principles of EU law proper, which the students will study in their second year: including the division of powers, the competences of the Union, the role of the institutions and especially that of the Court of Justice, general principles of EU Law, supremacy and direct effect, state liability and so on, and then of elements of substantive European Union Law such as free movement and competition law.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able:

- to acquire in the all-important beginning year (first) of the LLB (through this study-unit) a proper understanding of the legal significance of each ‘political’ development in the history of the Union. The essential background legal history and conceptual issueswill have been covered and grasped;
- to identify and articulate differences in conceptual terms between EU law concepts and those apparently similar ones learned in a domestic law context, while being in a position to understand the relationship between the two;
- from the first day of the second year course in EU Law to relate all principles of EU law as studied in this year of the LLB degree to the sui generis nature of EU law, and its detailed exposition in that second year, as understood through the first year's study.

2. Skills:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- approach further general study of EU law from the perspective of the true nature of the Union as evolved through and by Court of Justice, knowing the difference in approach between that of the Court of Justice and that of a national (especially Constitutional) Court;
- grasp quickly and from the start the more detailed substantive law relating to the legal order of the EU in the secondyear EU Law study-unit;
- relate political developments in the EU, even current, to the legal nature of the EU, and explain from a legal perspective the political evolution of the Union.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

- Craig and de Burca, EU Law Text Cases and Materials, OUP.
- TC Hartley, The Foundations of European Union Law, OUP.
- J. Steiner and L. Woods, EU Law, OUP.
- N. Foster, EU Treaties and Legislation, Blackstone Press.

Other materials, including chapters from books, photocopies of journal articles, EU website sources, supplementary reading lists will be supplied for each topic covered during the course. The above text books will continue to be used in the second year of the degree.

ADDITIONAL NOTES Students taking this study-unit need to have a background in law.

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture and Tutorial

Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Online Examination (2 Hours) SEM2 Yes 100%

LECTURER/S Giovanni Zaccaroni
Ioanna Kyritsaki
Ivan Sammut

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.