European Union Law
The European Law course focuses primarily on the law of the European Union (EU), and aims to provide students with the basic knowledge and skills needed to navigate this multilevel legal landscape. The course is oriented more towards acquiring practical understanding of how the EU works and learning how to research EU law, than towards developing comprehensive expertise in particular areas of EU law. As such, it is less a survey course than it is a course designed to convey a systematic working understanding of a complex legal system. These goals notwithstanding, we will read treaties, statutory law, and cases, and engage in close study of foundational (constitutional) legal principles and of the EU’s legal and institutional architecture. Students will also become familiar with a wide variety of substantive and procedural laws – such as those governing market relations (e.g., domestic and foreign trade, consumer protection, product liability, antitrust law), rights (including the relationship between the EU and international human rights law, as embodied by the European Convention on Human Rights), civil (private) law and litigation, criminal justice, intellectual property law and ‘Digital Europe’, and family law – but these are selected more for what they teach about the operation of the European legal system than for their inherent interest. We will draw comparisons between the EU and the USA in order to highlight key similarities and differences, and delve into some larger European debates, such as those on the role of international law, the rule of law, the ‘Area of Freedom, Security and Justice’, and Brexit. Research exercises will provide students with opportunities to develop expertise regarding one or more areas of their particular interest.