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Unit information: Law and Policy of the European Union I in 2015/16

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Unit name Law and Policy of the European Union I
Unit code LAWD20023
Credit points 20
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Professor. Syrpis
Open unit status Not open




School/department University of Bristol Law School
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law

Description including Unit Aims

The unit will consider the following issues: the recent history and development of European integration; the nature and objectives of the EU; the institutional structure and the law and decision making processes of the EU; the nature of Union law; the EU legal order; the relationship between EU and national laws; the role and jurisdiction of the Court of Justice; the protection of human rights in Union law.

Intended Learning Outcomes

By the end of this unit a successful student will be able to:

  • Explain the nature of the European Union and its political and economic context through to the Treaty of Lisbon
  • Explain the institutional structure of the EU, and the law-making and decision-making processes
  • Explain the legal order of the EU and how it relates to the domestic legal order by:
    • explaining the direct effect and supremacy of EU law and comparing the way in which it is applied by courts at the European and national levels
    • discussing the development, and critically appraise current state, of the fundamental rights jurisprudence of the Court of Justice
    • discussing and accounting for the development of the principle of state liability
    • comparing public and private enforcement of EU law
    • identifying the tensions inherent in the Article 267 TFEU preliminary reference procedure
    • appraising the effectiveness of bringing of judicial review actions against the EU institutions
  • State the law accurately
  • Apply legal principles to problem case scenarios
  • Think critically about ways in which the law could be reformed

This unit is also intended to improve benchmark skills – specifically IT skills, which are used in particular to find recent case law of the Court of Justice.

Teaching Information

This unit is taught by a combination of 30 lectures and 8 tutorials. All lectures are podcast.

Assessment Information

One three-hour closed book examination in May/June, in which students answer 3 questions (at least one essay and at least one problem) from a choice of 7 or 8 questions.

Students will also have the opportunity to write up to two formative essays in the course of the year. The first formative assessment for this unit is mandatory; the second formative assessment is optional.

The examination includes both problem type and essay type questions, designed to assess both whether students were able to understand and apply the law across the breadth of the syllabus, and whether they were able to think critically about it. The assessments will assess all of the intended learning outcomes for this unit.

Reading and References

Craig and de Burca, EU Law: Text, Cases and Materials. Chalmers, European Union Law.