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A Europe that serves and protects: the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice


Admission requirements



Integration in the field of justice and home affairs cooperation, first emerged as a spill-over of the free movement of persons and the lifting of border checks in Europe. The fear that an area of free movement would also allow the free circulation of drugs, criminals and illegal migrants acted as a catalyst for cooperation in civil and criminal matters, as well as migration and asylum. The Treaty of Amsterdam introduced the establishment of an "Area of Freedom, Security and Justice" (AFSJ) as an official EU objective. The Lisbon Treaty formed the final step in the supra-nationalization of powers in justice and home affairs. This does not however mean there is a European Migration and Asylum Code, even less so a European Criminal Code or Code for Criminal Procedure. Moreover, the EU does not have independent law enforcement authority. The EU is far away from having a European FBI, a centralised migration and asylum authority or a true European Border Guard. Nonetheless, in view of the refugee crisis and terrorist threat, this area is developing fast and there is a strong move towards more over less Europe.

Course objectives

Objectives of the course

  • explain the basic characteristics of cooperation by the EU Member States in the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice

  • explain the role of general principles of EU law, of fundamental rights and of legislative competences for the development of the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice;

  • identify the different techniques of integration in the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice and to explain how they interrelate;

  • apply different examples of EU legislation in the field of substantive law to practical case studies;

  • explain the importance of the principle of mutual recognition for cooperation in Justice and Home Affairs;

  • explain the nature and functioning of European authorities in the field of Justice and Home Affairs.

  • Draw comparisons to regulation of mobility and security in other jurisdictions

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

  • Solve a fictional case related to a topic concerning mobility and security in Europe

  • Answer essay questions reflecting on the development of the AFSJ and the case law of the Court of Justice of the European Union in this area, while showing critical thinking

  • write a case note to a recent CJEU judgment in the field of AFSJ


The timetable of this course can be found in uSis.

Mode of instruction


  • Number of (2 hour) lectures: 10

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

  • Required preparation by students: (1) reading of the prescribed literature and (2) preparing the weekly assignments made available on Blackboard an bringing the answers to class

Assessment method

Examination form(s)

  • Written exam (80% of final grade)

  • A case note of maximum 2.500 words (20% of final grade)

Students who fail the exam are entitled to sit a re-examination. Depending on the number of students failing the exam, the re-sit may take the form of an oral exam. The grade for the paper will remain valid for the re-sit. If a student has not passed the course by the end of the academic year, partial grades for the written exam or the paper are no longer valid.

Submission procedure A hard copy of the case note paper will need to be handed in during the last class and an electronic version will have to be uploaded on blackboard using safe assign.

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.


More information on this course is offered in Blackboard

Reading list

Obligatory course materials

  • C. Barnard and S. Peers (eds), European Union Law (OUP 2017, second edition)

  • N. Foster, Blackstone’s EU Treaties & Legislation 2015-2016 (OUP 2015)

Course information guide:
Available on Blackboard.

Available on Blackboard.

Recommended course materials


Students have to register for courses and exams through uSis.

Contact information


  • Institute: Public Law

  • Department: Europa Institute

  • Room number secretary: KOG B1.28

  • Opening hours: 09:00-17:00

  • Telephone number secretary: +31 (0)71 527 3596

  • E-mail: