The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 member states and nearly 500 million citizens, and forms the world’s largest trading bloc.
It also represents the fastest and most ambitious example of legal, economic, and political integration in modern times. This course is a general introduction to the European Union’s legal system and to selected areas of substantive EU law.
In the first half of the course, we will study (1) the EU's political institutions and its lawmaking processes, (2) the system of legal remedies and the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice, and (3) the constitutional law of the EU, including (a) the relationship between EU law and the domestic laws of the 27 member states and (b) EU human rights law. In the second half of the semester, the course will focus on selected areas of substantive EU law.
These may include free movement of goods and persons within theUnion, antitrust law, intellectual property, sex discrimination, and the legal structure and operation of the Euro, the EU’s single currency. We will also discuss the future of the EU in light of the likely admission of new member states from central and eastern Europe and the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the recent failures to ratify first the proposed European Constitution and then its compromise replacement.
There are no prerequisites for this course.
Note: The one unit version of this course will not qualify as a Group B elective for the Business Law Track