This two-credit course aims to give students a comprehensive introduction to European Union law in the context of ongoing economic and political challenges facing the 28-country bloc – notably, the shadow of Brexit. The first half of the term covers the foundations of EU law, laying out key legal and political themes and principles associated with European integration and surveying the succession of treaties that have led to today’s Union. Next the course examines key features of the EU judiciary and perspectives on the EU legal order from the Court of Justice and national constitutional courts, followed by consideration of the EU’s increasingly important fundamental rights framework and a look at EU citizenship. The second half of the course covers in turn the basics of the EU’s internal market arrangements, data protection and associated law enforcement and security issues, and the law governing the external relations of the Union, before concluding with a look at legal issues stemming from Brexit and the prospects for the EU’s future.
Overall this survey offers a compressed look at the constitutional, administrative, human rights, economic, security and foreign relations law of the European Union, making comparisons to U.S. law as appropriate. The emphasis throughout is on institutional aspects and the relationship between different actors within the EU and between the Union and its member states. The required basic text is Robert Schütze, An Introduction to European Law, 2nd edition (Cambridge University Press, 2015).
Students will be assessed by a mid-term exam, a final paper of approximately 8-12 pages, and class participation.