Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE European Union Law

LEVEL 02 - Years 2, 3 in Modular Undergraduate Course


DEPARTMENT European and Comparative Law

DESCRIPTION The study-unit covers the main heads of the European Union’s Legal Order. It starts with a chronological history of the development of the legal order via the conclusion of the first Treaties and the various amending treaties up to the current time. From the start the contribution of the European Court of Justice to this development is highlighted. Then follows an overview of the institutions of and the Union, their composition (briefly) and their powers, including the concept of institutional balance.

The next topic is Decision-making in the Union. This is followed by the Doctrine of Supremacy of Union Law and the relationship of Union Law and National law, as well as the relationship between the European Court of Justice and national courts.

Then we examine the so-called General Principles of Union Law, through the case-law of the European Court of Justice. This is followed by a study of the Doctrines of Direct Applicability and Direct Effect and the principle of State Liability, and remedies in national courts. This usually takes us to the end of the first semester. The second semester is devoted to the Jurisdiction of the European court of Justice, covering the Preliminary Rulings Procedure, Enforcement Actions, and the Direct Action for Annulment. We normally add to this an introduction to the substantive law of the EU in the shape of European Competition provisions of the Treaty as interpreted and applied by the European Court of Justice or any other area of substantive EU law. Students will also have the opportunity to select options in substantive (i.e. policy areas) Union law in other subsequent electives.

Study-unit Aims

To introduce the students to the EU legal order.
To learn about the institutional developments.
To learn about the basic principles of EU law.
To introduce the students to EU administrative law & judicial protection.
To introduce the students to EU substantive law.

Learning Outcomes

1. Knowledge & Understanding:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
- Compute basic sources of EU law to keep updated with ongoing developments;
- Analyse the legal basis in the Treaties, the secondary legal instruments and the relevant case-law;
- Interpret new and existing EU legislation and case-law;
- Prepare reports and illustrate issues about a particular given legal position in EU law;
- Plead EU law issues in a court of law.

2. Skills:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to demonstrate an understanding of the basic concepts in EU law and after successfully following this unit, would be in position to follow more specialized study-units in the field as well as have the basic knowledge required for professional practice.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings

- Craig and De Burca, “EU Law Text, Cases and Materials” Oxford University Press 5th Edition, 2011 (or later edition)
- J. Steiner and L. Woods, “EU Law” Oxford University Press, latest edition
- TC Hartley, “The Foundations of European Union Law” Oxford University Press, latest edition
- N.Foster, “EU Treaties and legislation” Balckstone Press, latest edition.

ADDITIONAL NOTES Student require prior legal knowledge.

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture and Tutorial

Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Examination (3 Hours) SEM2 Yes 100%
Important - Due to the COVID19 Pandemic the information regarding the method of assessment indicated above may have been changed. Further details have been provided by your F/I/C/S.

LECTURER/S Ivan Sammut (Co-ord.)

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 study-unit description above applies to the academic year 2019/0, if study-unit is available during this academic year, and may be subject to change in subsequent years.