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Comparative Legal and Economic Integration


Admission requirements

Required course(s):

  • Sovereignty and Statehood

  • Structure and Functioning of the EU

Recommended course(s):



This course is dedicated to the study of economic integration taking place around the world. Having adopted a comparative approach, this course will focus on regional economic integration initiatives and on comparing and analysing their main features from a predominantly legal standpoint. The course will start off with a general overview of economic integration to be followed by a basic introduction to GATT/WTO law before switching the lens onto the regional stage, starting with European Union law and notably the development of the four freedoms (goods, services, persons, and capital). The course will then move onto regional economic integration in the Americas, in Asia and in Africa.

This course aims at comparing each economic integration area / organization by highlighting their commonalities and specificities. In doing so, this course will analyse a common set of topics (e.g., trade in goods & services and related issues such as quotas and tariffs, dispute settlement mechanisms) and then situate each organization / area along a spectrum of economic integration.

This course serves as a potential replacement for the course ‘Europees Recht’ at Leiden Law School in the context of the Double Degree Studies programme.

Course Objectives


  • to understand and use legal language prevalent in economic integration treaties and related legal documents;

  • to undertake analyses of additional and previously unknown regional economic organizations;

  • to apply legal rules to a hypothetical case study

  • to draw comparisons between liberalization processes on the basis of their scope and coverage and application to various areas of economic activity;

  • to decipher international economic news and on-going trade and investment negotiations by relating to regional economic integration processes;


  • Economic globalization and integration

  • Models of market integration in the EU;

  • The EU internal market

  • Other Models of economic integration (WTO, NAFTA, MERCORSUR, ASEAN, East African Community etc.)


Timetables for courses offered at Leiden University College in 2021-2022 will be published on this page of the e-Prospectus.

Mode of instruction

The course aims to merge lectures with inputs from students in the form of discussions.

Active knowledge is required of the topics covered in mandatory prerequisite courses.
Students will have the opportunity of working on a hypothetical case on EU internal market law through a moot court exercise: they will submit written pleadings (group work) and will present their argument in oral proceedings (individual presentation). In addition, they will work on specific case studies and will present their work to their peers and comment on each other’s work (group presentations). The topics seen in class need to be well understood as they will form the basis of the final exam which will consist of the application of theoretical knowledge to a practical case study and essay question(s).

Assessment Method

  • Group written pleadings in a moot court exercise 22% (week 3 & 4)

  • Individual oral pleadings in a moot court exercise 19% (week 4)

  • Group presentations on given case studies 19% (week 7)

  • Final exam 40% (week 8)

Reading list

Catherine Barnard and Steve Peers (ed.), European Union Law, Oxford: Oxford University Press, latest edition


Courses offered at Leiden University College (LUC) are usually only open to LUC students and LUC exchange students. Leiden University students who participate in one of the university’s Honours tracks or programmes may register for one LUC course, if availability permits. Registration is coordinated by the Education Coordinator,




Readings will need to be completed prior to the first session and will be indicated in the course syllabus which will be circulated prior to the first session.

Active knowledge is required of the topics covered in mandatory prerequisite courses.