Courses

Below you find the courses of the LLM European Law: 

Compulsory courses

Regulating the European Union's Single Market (compulsory)

The main objective of this course is to study the law of the EU Single Market within a changed Treaty context. This course enables the student to gain insight in the interaction between EU free movement law and fundamental rights of EU citizens. In this course the Single Market will be conceptualized as an all-embracing concept for all EU citizens rather than a purely technocratic notion. And the EU as a predominantly internal market organization is often set apart from the EU as an evolving Human Rights organization.
Recent developments in the case law of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) justify an innovative and cutting-edge approach to EU free movement law. Schmidberger was the first crucial case in which the ECJ was forced to balance the free movement of goods with the protection of fundamental rights (freedom of assembly and freedom of speech). Other cases where the ECJ was forced to balance free movement rights with fundamental rights soon followed, like Viking, Laval, Omega or Dynamic Medien. In cases like Zambrano and Dereci the relationship between fundamental rights and the right to free movement of EU citizens were at issue, putting the requirement to the test that EU free movement law only applies in cross-border situations as well as the principle of non-discrimination . The evolving case law triggers important questions relating to the fundamental status of the four freedoms (e.g. the importance of the non-discrimination principle), the interstate condition, the ranking of fundamental rights, the balancing approach of the ECJ through the application of the proportionality test and the role of the EU legislator seeking to reconcile conflicting rights by issuing harmonization measures.The course ‘Regulating the EU Single Market’ seeks to address these questions by thoroughly studying EU free movement law, the harmonization process and the interaction between free movement and fundamental rights. The course is taught in English and lasts 10 weeks. Students are expected to actively participate in the discussions in class, they will have to do research, write an essay, give an oral presentation in an academic setting (academic conference simulation) and do a written exam. Next to these activities, student debates will be organized within the framework of this course, allowing to discuss recent developments in the field of EU Single Market law and fundamental rights in small groups.
The course consists of the following three parts:

Part I: negative integration, concept of the EU Single Market
In this part the negative integration process through the application of the Treaty freedoms in the Court’s case law will be thoroughly analysed.
After this course the student has gained knowledge and understanding of the following issues:

  • the scope of the EU rules on free movement, also viewed from the perspective of the legality principle;
  • the horizontal application of the Treaty freedoms; potential and limits;
  • the justification grounds; the extent to which Member States and private parties can invoke justification grounds restricting free movement;
  • the tensions between EU free movement law and the safeguarding of public interests and fundamental rights, viewed from the perspective of the social market economy, a concept introduced by the Lisbon Treaty, and the stronger commitment of the EU to fundamental rights protection through Article 6 EU and the binding force of the Charter of Fundamental Rights;
  • the ‘fundamental character’ of the four freedoms; to what extent could the economic freedoms be equated with fundamental rights?

Part II: Harmonization within the context of the EU Single Market
In this part the focus is on the positive integration process. Harmonization is an instrument to bring about market integration and to attain public policy goals simultaneously, but there are also other instruments which can be used, such as soft law, which, although not binding per se, may have the effect that national laws are approximated with a view to attain a more integrated single European market.
After this course:

  • the student has gained knowledge and understanding of the concept of harmonization, the legislative process and the different instruments.
  • the student has explored the implementation of harmonization measures into the national legal order. Particularly important here is that the law of the EU Single Market should not only be studied ‘top-down’, but also ‘bottom-up’ to understand the problems related to the implementation of EU legislation.
  • the student has studied diverse national law systems in a comparative perspective, enhancing the so-called ‘T-method’.
  • the student has analysed important examples of harmonization measures. Their similarities and differences will be highlighted. Examples are the Services Directive, the Posting of Workers Directive, the Audiovisual Media Services Directive, the Patients’ Rights Directive, the proposal for a General Data Protection Regulation and the legislative developments in the field of privacy (non-exhaustive list).

Part III: Regulating public interests and fundamental rights within the context of the single market
In this part the extent to which in particular fundamental rights are sufficiently safeguarded within the internal market will be addressed. After this course:

  • the student has developed his/her own views on the concepts of Single Market, Harmonisation and Fundamental Rights, the legal developments and existing case law.

Place of the course within the curriculum:

  • Compulsory course in the major of the master European Law

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Constitutional Law of the European Union (compulsory)

This course addresses the constitutional foundations of the European Union with a special focus on the layered structure of European constitutional law. The relations between the different layers of governance - in particular between the national level and the European level - including some attention for the international law dimension will be studied. The course is centered around the following topics:

  • the division and balance of powers between the EU and the Member States on the legislative, executive and judicial levels;
  • the protection of fundamental rights;
  • the judicial dialogue between the ECJ and national courts;
  • the role of the ECJ, in comparison to the US Supreme Court
  • the relations between the EU institutions
  • the democratic underpinning of the EU
  • the economic constitution of the Union (most notably the EMU)

Each week a guiding lecture is organized in which the main issues of the week are identified, structured and discussed on the basis of a number of wide ranging doctrinal, legislative and case law texts. The weekly seminars are student-led and further elaborate specific issues within the general themes of the week.
The course is aimed at providing the student with a profound insight in and understanding of the constitutional foundations of the EU legal order. Next, the course is specifically designed for students to develop a critical attitude to the developments in EU constitutional law. To that end, the students are confronted with contrasting views in legal doctrine which they will evaluate, balance and apply to concrete legal situations. Moreover, such views are to be grounded in and confronted with constitutional theories on EU integration.
Argumentation skills are, thus, a key element of the course. The students write two short position papers, the purpose of which is to set up a concise argumentation on a specific issue in which they critically assess the existing legal framework and the available comments in legal doctrine. The findings of one of these papers is to be presented in class on the basis of a central thesis that will spark a class discussion.
The third element of the course concerns the confrontation with practice. A central idea within this course is that the constitutional foundations of the EU is not just of general and theoretical relevance, but directly affects professionals working in an EU law context. Guest lectures will be involved, which enable the students to engage in a discussion, to test the insights they have acquired and to find out the meaning of the developments in EU constitutional law to the everyday practice.
Place of the course within the curriculum:

  • Compulsory course in the major of the master European Law

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Research and Thesis Trajectory European Law (compulsory)

The thesis crowns the master program. It is an individual legal research project carried out under the supervision of a lecturer. The thesis is evaluated by this supervisor and a second reader.
While the actual thesis is normally written at the end of the master programme (period 4), preparatory work has to be done from the very start of the programme, so as to maximize the chances of a successful outcome. To this effect, a research-based masters thesis trajectory (OST) will be organized from period 1 onwards. This OST involves the organization of classes on methodology and writing, and the forming of peer groups that allow students to fine-tune their problem statement, research question(s), and approach (periods 1-2). The OST is partly integrated as a module in the capita selecta course; in this module, the student has to produce a research proposal for which (s)he receives a pass/fail grade (period 3).
The thesis must be written in English. The thesis should be between 12.500 and 20.000 words.
The thesis will be assessed and graded on the basis of its contents (research question, argumentation, structure, legal content) and lay-out (style and general presentation, including clarity of the text, language and grammar). The assessment also takes dedication and independence into consideration. The final version of the thesis will also be assessed by a second lecturer. The supervisor will determine the final grade after consulting the second lecturer.

Capita Selecta European Law: Research Proposal Thesis (compulsory)

The research module is part of the OST trajectory. It takes place in period 3 and it is an entry requirement for writing your Master thesis. See Rules and Regulations 2017-2018 and Blackboard for further regulations. Earlier in the academic year you must communicate in which discipline you want to graduate. Information about this will be communicated in a timely manner. A thesis supervisor will be assigned by the thesis coordinator of the Master by means of a completed thesis form. In the research module students will, in addition to a research plan, provide feedback on the thesis structure of other students and give a presentation about their own structure. Attendance is mandatory. The research module is completed with an approved research plan.

Place of this course within the curriculum:

  • Compulsory course in master European Law

Master-minor

A cohesive pair of two courses selected from one of the following master’s programmes:

  • Constitutional and Administrative Law (Dutch programme)
  • Corporate Law (Dutch programme)
  • Criminal Law (Dutch programme)
  • Private Law (Dutch programme)
  • Public International Law