European Union Constitutional Law

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Winter 2014 Course
Meets: M, T, W, Th, F 9:00am - 12:15pm in WCC Room B010
3 classroom credits

This course provides an advanced introduction to the constitutional law and institutions of the European Union (EU). It is introductory in that the focus is on the constitutional and institutional order of the European Union. Topics such as competition law, internal market law, social and labor law, contract and consumer law, and environmental law are left for more specialized courses. It is advanced in that the constitutional issues are analyzed in their most recent incarnation in the post-Lisbon Treaty European Union, and with the benefit of a variety of theoretical perspectives drawn from political science and constitutional theory. After a presentation of the structure and constitutive principles of the European constitutional and institutional order, the first classes will briefly cover the composition, function, and powers of the legislative and executive branches, i.e. the European Council, the Council of the European Union, the European Parliament, and the European Commission. This will be followed by an in-depth presentation of the European legal order, its sui generis relationship to national law (immediate validity, primacy, direct effect) but also to international law and its enforcement and liability mechanisms. We will then turn to the European Court of Justice and the system of judicial remedies in the EU. We will also consider a number of other, more specific, topics that are critical to understanding individual rights and the vertical and horizontal balance of powers in today’s European Union, in particular EU fundamental rights and EU citizenship. We will also address various issues arising in the fast developing field of EU external relations.

Subject Areas: International, Comparative & Foreign Law , Constitutional Law & Civil Rights .