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European Migration Law


Please note that the following description of the course is only provisional and therefore subject to change.

Admission requirements

  • Background in law

  • Sufficient command of English

  • Students should be familiar with the basics of international and European law.


Migration is a much debated topic in Europe. Nowadays migration in and to Europe is for a large part governed by European Union law. The focus in this course will be on legal, or voluntary migration. For Member States of the European Union, the discretion to shape their own migration policy is limited by binding provisions of EU Law. Freedom of movement of persons having the nationality of Member States has since long been a primary goal of the European Union. With the entry into force of the Treaty of Amsterdam in May 1999, legislation on immigration regarding third country nationals, has also become a subject of Union competence. The concept of a right to family life and private life as laid down in the European Convention on Human Rights has influenced as well national policies as the interpretation of EU Law. In this course EU Law and international law and their interaction will be discussed. The course program is, apart from an introductory lecture, divided into three parts: 1. Free movement of persons under EU law; 2. Family life and private life under article 8 ECHR; and 3. Family reunification under EU law.

This course is the first course on European Migration Law. The second course in the second half of this semester will be dedicated completely to Asylum Law. Both courses are structured in a similar way. They can be followed both or separately.

Course objectives

The aim of this course is to provide students with knowledge and insight in the relation between the various levels of international and European migration law and their impact on individuals. Students learn to apply this knowledge to a migration case.

After having completed this course students must be able:

  • To discuss and analyse orally and in writing key questions concerning free movement of EU citizens and family migration, and

  • To solve a complex individual case on the basis of EU migration law and international law. To approach the case both from the viewpoint of the migrant and the viewpoint of the State. Students are expected to write a structured legal argumentation and research independently case-law and other relevant materials and apply it to the case.


See timetable

Mode of instruction


  • Number of (2 hour) lectures: 7

  • Names of lecturers: Mark Klaassen

  • Required preparation by students: reading the materials assigned in the prescribed literature and readers


  • Number of (2 hour) seminars: 3

  • Names of instructors: Mark Klaassen

  • Required preparation by students: Writing a paper (2x) and preparing an oral presentation based on this paper (1x)

Group work sessions

  • Number of (2 hour) sessions: 3

  • The group work sessions are intended to facilitate the group work. During the group work sessions, the different groups can work together in preparing their contribution for the seminar.

Assessment method

The students have to write two papers of approximately 2000 words and give one oral presentation based on one of the written papers. For the papers the students have to solve a complex case. The oral presentation is in the format of a moot court session. The two papers count for 40% each of the final grade and the oral presentation for 20%.

Students with a final grade of 5 or lower, who have handed in all the two papers and gave the oral presentation, get the possibility two write one paper of approximately 5000 words. The topic of this paper will be discussed among the student and the teacher. The grade for this paper will replace the former grade.


More information on this course is offered in Blackboard.

Reading list

Obligatory course materials

  • P. Boeles, M. Den Heijer, G. Lodder & K. Wouters, ‘European Migration Law’, 2nd edition, Intersentia, 2014.

  • Additional articles (on Blackboard)

  • Legal texts (in a reader or on Blackboard)

  • Case Law (on Blackboard)

Recommended course materials

To be announced


Exchange students can register through the online registration system of the International Office.

Contact details

  • Co-ordinator: M.A.K. Klaassen LLM

  • Work address: KOG, room C0.05

  • Contact information: Monday-Thursday

  • Telephone number: +31 (0)71 527 8822

  • Email:


  • Institute: Public Law

  • Department: Institute of Immigration Law

  • Room number secretary: B1.21

  • Telephone number secretary: +31 (0)71 527 7713

  • Email: (student assistant)