|Delivery length / details
|21 x 1 Hour Lectures
|3 x 1 Hour Seminars
|Assessment length / details
|Essay 2000 words at the end of Semester One
|Essay 2000 words
On successful completion of this module students should be able to:
By the end of the course students should have gained an understanding of the structure of European legal regimes, their relationship to each other, the roles of the main European Institutions, and the processes of legislation and law application at the European level. They should also have acquired a reasonable level of competence in locating and using both primary and secondary sources of European law, and the ability both orally and in writing to construct argument and analyse problems using the methodology of European law, together with an appreciation of the way in which various types of European law interact with national legal systems.
Over the last 50 years a body of law has emerged in Europe which has gradually and increasingly both modified and to some extent supplanted the operation of national systems of law in a number of countries, including the UK. To a large extent this has happened through the European Union, of which the UK has been a member for over 25 years. European Union law now comprises a very large body of rules which govern a wide spectrum of commercial and social activities at member state level. In recent years the common political and legal action has been extended to the fields of foreign and security policy and police and judicial co-operation. At the same time, since the beginning of the 1950's, the Council of Europe has promoted wider European legal development through the adoption of a number of European Conventions, most notably the Convention on Human Rights. The resulting legal landscape at the beginning of the 21st Century is therefore a complex and sophisticated interlocking set of European legal regimes which together impact significantly on the everyday working of the national legal orders of all of the EU member states. It is impossible now to gain a reasonable understanding of the law and legal system of the UK without a knowledge of the European Union and other European legal orders.
This module is designed to provide knowledge and understanding of the main elements of these European legal orders and to introduce students to the materials and methodologies used in those systems. The legal materials used in the European Union and other European legal orders differ in important respects from those used in England and Wales and instruction in the use of these sources and in European legal method is therefore an important part of the course. This module is a pre-requisite for further study of European Law (module GF/LA32410).
The module will trace the development and explain the principal features of the legal regimes based on the European Union and arising within the framework of the Council of Europe's Conventions and will consider the inter-relationship of these regimes. There will be a particular focus on the difference between the more integrated 'supranational' legal order of the European Union system and the 'intergovernmental' methodology employed by the Union and by the Council of Europe. Necessarily a substantial part of the course will deal with the processes of law-making, implementation and enforcement of European Union law and policy and the legal accountability of the European Union institutions. An important issue is the relationship between European Union and national systems since the greater part of European Union law has to be applied and given effect by Member State courts and agencies. A study of the problems which arise from this major division of functions within the European Union system (law-making and interpretation of law at the European Union level and enforcement at the national level) supplies an important theme for this part of the course.
The module aims to provide an understanding of the structure and methodology of the legal orders of the European Union and the regimes established by Council of Europe Conventions; to promote an awareness of the general impact of European law on the working of the national legal system; and to satisfy professional requirements as regards the first level of training in the field of European law.
1. An introduction to source material and literature.
2. An overview of European legal regimes : in particular the European Union and Council of Europe
- their development
- their objectives
- their inter-relationship
- intergovernmental and supranational models
4. The structure of the European Union
- the principal treaties
- EU institutions
- the legal framework of 'variable geometry'
6. Basic features of the European Union legal order : the doctrine of the supremacy of European Union law and the role and working method of the European Union courts.
7. EU law-making processes and categories of EU law.
This module is at CQFW Level 6