module specification

LL6002 - European Union Law (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title European Union Law
Module level Honours (06)
Credit rating for module 30
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 300
 
81 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
219 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 50%   2,500 coursework essay
Coursework 50%   2,500 coursework essay
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year City Friday Afternoon

Module summary

This Qualifying Law Degree (QLD) and core LLB unit provides a detailed understanding of the underlying concepts principles of EU law and its ever evolving relationship to domestic law. It considers the law-making powers of the EU institutions, the constitutional principles of the EU, and the role of the European Court of Justice. It highlights the interplay between these features by focusing on substantive EU topics such as the freedom of movement of goods, services and persons, and EU Competition law. It also explores the developing concept of EU citizenship and examines the promotion and protection of human rights within the EU. The topic is hugely important for a range of employers for example, businesses, State bodies, the legal profession, the Civil Service, NGOs, and policy makers.

This new year long (30 week) module is a Qualifying Law Degree (QLD) module, and the choice of content is intended to include the key legal knowledge and materials in the subject area required by the Joint Academic Standards Board for Law. Assessment is by a two coursework submissions over the academic year.

This completely new module has also presented the module team with the opportunity to introduce new material and perspectives by reorganising and rethinking the module content and delivery to incorporate the university’s goal of developing blended learning, students' study responsibilities and employability.

The module introduces a range of blended learning initiatives as a proactive response to the development of the university’s policy of technology enhances learning. For example, online office hours, online formative assessment submission, and new learning tools using library resources will be in place. The module will also seek to encourage and develop student learning autonomy and independent learning skills by requiring students to research their coursework questions. The module’s Level 6 focus on independent learning fosters an appreciation and understanding of self-directed and autonomus learning in researching seen coursework questions.

Module aims

Students will gain an appreciation of the theoretical and foundational aspects of EU as it applies in England and Wales. The module also facilitates a contextual and critical appreciation of the law and politics relating to the administration and governance of the UK State in a period of radical constitutional change and under the influence of this order of European law.

To provide a sound understanding of the theoretical underpinning of law and its legitimacy; and more particularly to examine the allocation and control of power within the public sector, from the perspectives of both English and European Union law.

To provide a sound understanding of the basic features and characteristics of the EU legal order, its main institutions, the law-making processes and the legal control of administrative powers in both the United Kingdom and the European Union.

To provide a sound understanding of the techniques of legal method used in both English and European Union law.

To provide a sound understanding of the nature of human rights and their promotion and protection in the European Union.

To provide an overview of the relationship between history, politics, law and economics in the development of evolution of the EU.

To develop the ability to use IT skills effectively, both as a research tool and for the presentation of written and oral work by taking advantage of the blended learning opportunities.

To develop and encourage confidence in the use of appropriate learning, analytical and discursive skills.

To communicate acquired legal knowledge of the EU in both oral and written form using appropriate legal terminology.

To provide a supportive learning environment for the development of competence in independent learning and in tutorial discussion.

To provide an understanding of and familiarity with employment opportunities associated with this area of law and the methods of employee recruitment.

 

Syllabus

Introduction to the EU legal order: its framework and institutions

Working with EU Law: opportunities and employee recruitment techniques

Enforceable EU Law Rights: the principles of direct effect, Indirect effect and Member State liability

Free Movement of Goods

The Preliminary Ruling Procedure – Article 267 TFEU

Free Movement of Services

Introduction to the basic principles of EU competition law

The Free Movement of Labour and Persons

Citizenship of the EU

The promotion and protection of Human Rights within the EU

General Principles of EU Law

Judicial Review of EU acts – articles 263 and 267 TFEU

Enforcement Actions Articles 258-260 TFEU

Learning and teaching

The lecture presentation explains the key aspects of each topic to the students, with particular reference to primary source materials and practical examples as well as reference to relevant secondary materials. In the tutorials, students discuss prepared problem questions, essay questions and case-studies, practising skills of legal research, analysis and oral presentation. Students are taught how to answer problem and essay questions relating to EU law, building on the materials taught and provided in first and second year law subjects. A specially written handbook is made available at the beginning of the course, which sets out the teaching schedule and course outline and provides some primary source materials. All the course materials, including detailed lecture notes, Power Point presentations, supplementary materials and sample questions and answers are also made available to the students electronically. For the purposes of the examination, a collection of appropriate statutory materials is provided. The lecture programme is intended to provide an introduction to each topic, rather than going over every aspect in detail. Lecture outlines can be found on the relevant pages of the unit handbook and detailed notes will be accessible on the module Weblearn/Blackboard page.

We expect students to prepare for tutorials by reading the relevant lecture materials and directed reading. As the tutorial questions resemble the types of questions set in the exam and coursework assessment components, preparing for tutorials means that students are also essentially preparing for the assessments themselves. The following activities take place in these classes: a) Students answer basic questions on fundamental matters like the nature of the UK and EU constitutions, their institutions and procedures, and on the various subject areas of EU law covered in the module.  These lectures help set a framework which makes the rest of the course understandable. b) Students analyse problem and essay questions from past coursework and examination questions in tutorials. The tutor will offer guidance on the law, as well as on analytical and examination techniques. c) Students, in giving individual answers, are in effect making short oral presentations on a given topic area from a range of questions.  This focus and activity help foster public speaking and oral communication skills along with developing the use of proper legal argumentation and use of legal terminology. Many students have had no real experience of, and/or feel intimidated by, public speaking. d) Students undertake several analyses of English and EU. This familiarises them with the styles of the different courts and gives them practice in the skills explored originally in their first and second year law courses.

The module introduces a range of blended learning initiatives as a proactive response to the development of the university’s policy of technology enhanced learning. For example, online office hours, online formative assessment submission, and new learning tools using library resources will be in place. The module will also seek to encourage and develop student learning autonomy and independent learning skills by providing guidance to planning, researching and writing the coursework assessment answers at Level 6. The module’s focus on employability fosters an appreciation and understanding of the use and value of independent learning and research in writing the coursework. The tutorials seek to develop oral communication and legal presentation skills when students engage with the set questions in classes. The tutorial programme, content and activities proved popular in the former two modules and the module team wishes to continue with a successful formula, but we are not complacent and have refined and, where necessary, amended them every year. Usually this was done in response to student feedback in module questionnaires. The tutorials enable students to reinforce their understanding of topics covered in the lecture, to integrate extra knowledge they have picked up through private study into the overview presented in the lecture and to apply their knowledge to specific problems. Training in the assessed skills is integrated into the programme. Tutors are always happy to mark practice answers undertaken by students. Other formal formative assessment opportunities are provided at regular points throughout the delivery of the module.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module and in through succeeding in the coursework assessments students will:
1: Have acquired a systemic understanding and coherent and detailed knowledge of  the well-established principles relating to the legal framework and institutions of the EU and of the following in particular: the basic constitutional principles of EU law (such as the supremacy of EU law, direct effect, indirect effect and Member State liability), the preliminary ruling procedure under A.267 TFEU, the key procedures of EU administration such as judicial review and enforcement actions, the key economic freedoms promoted by EU law, in particular by examining the freedom of movement of goods, services, and workers, the key features of EU competition law, EU citizenship and the development of General Principles of EU law by focusing in particular on the promotion and protection of human rights within the EU .
2: Be able to deploy accurately established techniques of legal analysis and enquiry and apply this acquired understanding to set problem and discursive scenarios in the set coursework using critical judgement.
3: Through researching and writing their coursework, have acquired increased awareness of, and more confidence in, using learning, academic, and IT skills, particularly written communications skills in order to effectively communicate information, arguments and analysis in a variety of forms to specialist and non-specialist audiences.
4: in producing their coursework answers have acquired a conceptual understanding that enables the student to devise and sustain arguments and to solve problems, using ideas and techniques in legal thinking and writing to describe and comment upon particular aspects of current legal research, or equivalent advanced scholarship, in EU law.
5: have developed the qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring the exercise of personal responsibility and decision-making in planning, researching and writing their coursework assessment answers.
6: the ability to manage their own learning (demonstrating the exercise of initiative and personal responsibility) and to make use of scholarly reviews and primary sources (for example, refereed research articles and/or original materials appropriate to EU law.

Bold script refers to Level 6 descriptors from the QAA’s Framework for Higher Education Qualifications

Assessment strategy

The learning outcomes will be examined each year by two pieces of coursework assessment (of 2,500 words each) submitted at two separate points of the academic year assessing learning outcomes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 above.

(a) and (b) above will combine essay style and problem style legal questions and combined will represent 100% of the final mark.

Bibliography

A specially written handbook is made available at the beginning of the course, which sets out the teaching schedule and course outline and provides some primary source materials. All the course materials, including detailed lecture notes, Power Point presentations, supplementary materials and sample questions and answers are also made available to the students electronically. For the purposes of the examination, a collection of appropriate statutory materials is provided.

NB Students must use the most recent edition of the books cited.

Fairhurst, J, Law of the European Union (Pearson)
Foster, N, EU Law (Oxford University Press)
Kent, P, Law of the European Union (Pearson)
Horspool, M, European Union Law (Oxford University Press)
Kaczorowska, A, European Union Law (Routledge)
Steiner, J, and L Woods, EU Law (Oxford University Press)

And one of the following cases and materials books:
Craig, P, and Grainne de Burca, EU Law: Text, Cases and Materials (Oxford University Press)
Weatherill, S,  Cases and Materials on EU Law (Oxford University Press)

Alternatives are:
Barnard, C, Substantive Law of the EU (Oxford University Press)
Berry, E, & S Hargreaves, EU Law (Oxford University Press)
Chalmers D, & Tomkins, EU Public Law (Cambridge University Press)
Ward, I, A Critical Introduction to European Law (Cambridge University Press)
Hartley, T, The Foundations of European Community Law  (Oxford University Press)
Douglas-Scott, S, Constitutional law of the European Union (Longman Publishing)
Rosas, A, and L Armati, EU Constitutional Law: An Introduction (Hart Publishing)
Shaw, J, Law of the European Union (Palgrave)
These last four books are excellent (although the latter two are now very dated) but only cover EU Public Law, not substantive law.

As for statute books for the topic, we would recommend:
Foster, N, (ed.) Blackstone’s EU Legislation, (Blackstone). Also available are the Palgrave Statutes Series for EU legislation.

Websites are many and varied but for particular mention is: www.europa.eu, and www.curia.eu.org