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The Legal Foundations of the European Union


This intensive course is intended to give the students a thorough knowledge and understanding of the institutional, constitutional and administrative law of the European Union (EU) and the European Community (EC), which is the EU’s most important subpart, and the relationship of this law with the national law of the EU Member States. The following subjects are considered: the nature of EU and EC Law, its constitutional principles, the EU institutions and judicial protection of rights. One of the main aims of the course is to thoroughly familiarize the students with the primary materials of European Union Law (texts of Treaties, secondary legislation and case law), in order to prepare for the specialized courses of the second semester.


Europa Institute
Steenschuur 25
2311 ES Leiden
Phone: 071-527 7760
Sheena Bruce,
Phone: +31 (0)71 527 7821

Methods of Instruction

Integrated into this course is (the first part of) the European Law Moot Court competition in which students simulate a case before the Court of Justice of the European Communities. With its combination of intense research, written and oral submissions, the Moot Court in many ways resembles a Privatissimum. In past years, this very prestigious international competition has proven to be a particularly important tool for postgraduate instruction, even though it was then not a compulsory part of the curriculum.

Course materials

  • Course Reader is availalbe to be downloaded from blackboard

  • Paul Craig/Gráinne De Búrca, EU Law, Text, Cases and Materials, fourth edition, Oxford: Oxford University Press 2007

  • Blackstone’s EC Legislation, Oxford University Press, most recent edition

  • Christa Tobler and Jacques Beglinger, Essential EC Law in Charts, Budapest: HVG-Orac 2010,


This course is assessed by means of a written paper and a written exam

Course requirements

Master degree


Sheena Bruce,
Phone: +31 (0)71 527 7821