This course adds a legal dimension to previous BA ES courses and exposes students to legal thinking and argumentation. The course introduces students to the definition of law and the legal terminology which are the topics of the first two tutorials. Other lectures and tutorials are devoted to EU institutional
law after Lisbon. The legal system founded by the European integration process is unique in its supranational characteristics. The latter are based on competences attributed from the
Member States and influenced by special decision-making and legislative processes. The system is built on a legal protection system and legal principles, in the form of direct effect, indirect effect and state liability, governing the application of Union law. The latest changes brought about by Lisbon try to achieve
more clarity with regard to competences and policies. As these Treaties merge the classic pillar structure in one single legal personality for the Union, there is a need for a reassessment of the classical division between supranational and intergovernmental structures. In addition, the case law of the European
courts plays a central role in developing this special legal order, autonomous from national and international law. Precedentsetting cases will be highlighted throughout the course.
At the end of the course, students have acquired adequate knowledge, practical skills and a critical understanding of the following: • The legal foundations of the European Union (EU) and their special characteristics in relation to national and international law; • The EU institutions, their historical evolution, the horizontal relationship between them and the vertical relationship between the EU and its Member States (MS); • The legislative and decision-making process in the Union, the legal instruments in the form of secondary legislation and other measures • The question of choosing a legal basis based on different EU policies • The legal and constitutional principles guiding the relationship among the EU institutions and between the EU and its Member States (principles of supremacy, legality, subsidiarity, proportionality and loyalty); • The legal and institutional principles, in the form of direct, indirect effect and Member States´ liability, guarding and guiding the implementation and application of Union law; • The legal protection in the form of the implementation and enforcement mechanisms of EU law (infringement proceedings against MS, enforcement through national courts, direct actions to review EU actions).
In addition, by the end of the course, students should have become familiar with legal thinking and legal reasoning, and should be able to:
- Find legal instruments in paper or electronic format;
- Keep abreast of legal developments;
- Read a legal document and extract relevant information from it;
- Construct a legal argument on the basis of EU law;
- Use EU law, especially EU legislation, to give an opinion on a simple problem.