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Europe's Area of Freedom, Security and Justice


Admission requirements

Admission to the LL.M. in Law Programme, European Law Track.


This course will offer students a sound basis in the constitutional foundations of Member States’ cooperation in the field of justice and home affairs (migration, asylum and criminal law). It does so by examining some of the core concepts and principles that underlie this policy field, which has been named the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice. In addition it will examine a selection of substantive rules that govern mobility and security in Europe.

Course objectives

Objectives of the course

At the end of this course, students should be able to:

  • Understand core concepts and principles that govern EU cooperation in Justice and Home Affairs;

  • Identify the tension between the different core concepts and principles;

  • Apply the different core concepts and principles to concrete cases;

  • Find and use legal sources in the field of AFSJ, including the Treaties, secondary legislation and case law of the Court of Justice of the European Union;

  • Improve argumentation and writing skills during the seminar sessions;

  • Participate in the academic and public debate on current affairs pertaining to the AFSJ.

Achievement levels
The following achievement levels apply with regard to the course:

  • Carry out basic research, finding relevant legislation, literature and case law

  • Solve practical cases

  • Construct a legal argument both orally and in writing


The timetable of this course can be found in uSis.

Mode of instruction


  • Number of (2 hour) lectures: 5

  • Names of lecturers: Dr. J.J. Rijpma

  • Required preparation by students: prepare the reading prescribed in the course reader.


  • Number of (2 hour) seminars: 5

  • Names of instructors: Dr. J.J. Rijpma

  • Required preparation by students: study the prescribed reading materials, prepare the prescribed questions and case studies in the course reader and prepare short presentations.

Assessment method

Examination form(s)

  • The course will be concluded with a three hour written exam (80% of the final grade)

  • Students are also required to hand in a written assignment (20% of the final grade)
    Each student will write, together with another student (hence in groups of two) a short note concerning a case decided by the Court of Justice of the European Union or the European Court of Human Rights. More detailed information on the assignment will be included in the reader.

  • Depending on the number of students that need to retake the exam, the retake may take the form of a oral exam.

Areas to be tested within the exam
The examination syllabus consists of the required reading (literature) for the course, the course information guide and the subjects taught in the lectures, the seminars and all other instructions which are part of the course.

Regulation retake passed exams
In this course it is possible to retake an exam that has been passed (cf. art. and further of the Course and Examination Regulations), on the condition that this course is included in the compulsory components of the degree program. Students who have passed the exam may retake the final written assessment (test) of the course if they meet certain requirements. To retake a passed exam, students need to ask the Student Administration Office (OIC) for permission. For more information, go to 'course and exam enrollment' > 'permission for retaking a passed exam' on the student website.

Reading list

Recommended course materials

This course will primarily use primary sources of EU law, as well as academic commentary. All treaties, legislation and case law can be found on Brightspace, as well as online (EU:, ECHR: For reasons of copy right protection not all journal articles can be made accessible on Brightspace. If the reading is not made available you will have to look it up in the library or use the library’s online resources:

We will not use a handbook, but you may want to refer to any of the manuals below to guide your learning:

  • Boeles, P. et. al., European Migration Law (Antwerp, Intersentia, 2014)

  • Barnard, C. and Peers, S. (Eds), EU Law (Oxford, Oxford University Press), Chapters 25 (EU Criminal Law) and 26 (EU Migration and Asylum Law)

  • Chalmers et al., European Union Law: Text and Materials, (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2014), Chapters 12 (EU Law and Non-EU Nationals) and 14 (EU Criminal Law)

  • Craig and de Búrca, EU law: Text, cases, and materials (Oxford, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2015), Chapters 11 (Human Rights) and 25 (AFSJ: EU Criminal Law)

  • Mitsilegas, V., EU Criminal Law (Oxford, Hart Publishing, 2016)

  • Peers, S., EU Justice and Home Affairs (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2016) (Non-Civil)


Students have to register for the lectures and working groups through uSis. With this registration you have access to the digital learning environment of this course in Brightspace. You may register up to 5 calendar days before the first teaching session begins.

Students have to register for exams and retakes through uSis. With this registration you also have access to the digital learning environment of this course in Brightspace You may register up to 10 calendar days before the exam or retake.

Contact information

  • Coordinator: Prof.dr. J.J. Rijpma

  • Work address: KOG, B1.25

  • Contact information: Appointment via e-mail

  • Email:


  • Institute: Public Law

  • Division: European Law

  • Room number secretariat: KOG, B1.11

  • Opening hours: 9:00 – 17:00

  • Telephone number secretariat: 071 – 527 7416

  • E-mail: