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

Specialisation European Criminal Law and Human Rights

European and International Criminal Law

This course will give an overview of the most important aspects of the European integration and internationalizing of criminal law. An other important part of this course will deal with international cooperation in criminal matters.Attention will be given to some topics as: International criminal law, jurisdiction, Conventions of the Council of Europe, enforcement mechanism of the institutions within the EU, transnational cooperation, European judicial area, mutual recognition/harmonisation, Extradition/European Arrest Warrant, Eurojust, Europol, European Public prosecutor, European Convention.
Place of the course in the curriculum:

  • Compulsory course in the specialisation "European Criminal Law and Human Rights'

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Human Rights from a Comparative Criminal Law Perspective

This course focuses on certain aspects of the ECtHR from a comparative law perspective. The course is divided into three parts. It starts with an examination of the methodology of comparative criminal law. In the second part of the course the doctrine of positive obligations is discussed. The doctrine of positive obligations as developed by the ECtHR creates obligations for Member States to take measures on a national level in order to protect its citizens against violations of their rights as safeguarded in the ECHR. On the basis of the doctrine of positive obligation Member States are, inter alia, obliged to take measures to safeguard the right to life of its citizens (ex Article 2 ECHR) and to protect them against ill-treatment once they are detained (ex Article 3 ECHR). Students are expected to study case law of the ECtHR where a breach of positive obligations by a Member State was established and to investigate how these positive obligations were implemented in national legislation in the relevant Member State in their papers. In the third part of the course the focus will be on the case law of the ECtHR on pre-trial detention. In the last lecture of the course a guest lecturer will discuss the increasingly important relation and interaction between the ECHR and the EU.
Place of the course in the curriculum:

  • Compulsory course in the specialisation "European Criminal Law and Human Rights'

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Specialisation General EU Law

Judicial Protection and Enforcement of EU Law

This course offers a broad insight into the problems that occur in the practical application of European Union law in the national legal orders of the Member States. The course focuses on the relation between European and national judicial systems. More in particular, the emphasis lies on the enforcement of EU law in the Member States and in particular on the legal ways and means for the judicial protection of rights of individuals.

During the course, the students will, in the first place, improve their knowledge of European law and notably the way in which this law produces effects in the Member States. Furthermore, the course will also offer a good opportunity to learn more about the legal systems of the various Member States, as the relevant problems will be explored from a comparative perspective. In this respect, active input will be required from the students. EU and national case law analysis will thus form an important pillar of the course.

The main topics addressed in this course are the EU legal doctrines of national procedural autonomy, direct effect, consistent interpretation, the organization of judicial protection in the EU, state liability, questions of enforcement of European law in the national legal order, the influence of European law on general principles of (public) law like legal certainty, transparency, the rights of defence and the principle of proportionality. The topics are approached from the perspective of an integrated legal order.
Place of the course within the curriculum:

  • Compulsory course in the specialisation 'European Law'

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European Competition Law

The course aims to provide in-depth knowledge of the main aspects of European Competition law. Students should be able to apply this knowledge to a given set of concrete facts by solving complex competition law cases which closely resemble actual cases in competition practice. In this course competition law is placed the context of the economics-based application of competition law. Attention is given to the wider debate on the role of competition and competition regulation in society. Principles relating to the concept of competition and the market principle are studied and discussed. The concepts that are central to competition law such as the concept of undertaking, the cartel prohibition, the prohibition on the abuse of a dominant position and merger control are examined and applied to concrete sets of facts. The case law of the relevant Courts is discussed and procedures, enforcement mechanisms and issues relating to proof in competition cases are presented. The course focuses primarily on European competition law, but the relationship between European competition law and national competition law is addressed.
In the lectures, the doctrine on the particular topic for that week is presented and discussed. These will provide the students with various viewpoints and opinions, also on the place of competition (law) in society. Students are invited to participate actively in the lectures through questions addressed to the audience. The aim of the lectures is to provide further clarification of the information provided in the course materials, so that students are well prepared for active participation in the case-solving seminars. During the extra lectures specific attention will be given to the practical application of competition law. Some of these extra lectures provide for a more specified aspect of a general theme, others provide an in depth discussion of recent or actual (non-decided) cases. For these extra lectures practitioners from leading law firms, members of the judiciary and/or economists working in the field of competition law will be invited and students are given the opportunity to engage in a discussion with these practitioners. These extra lectures will thus provide students with an opportunity to practice discussion- and networking skills and provide them with insight on what competition law means in practice. During the seminars in this course the students' case-solving capacities will be exercised, as a significant part of the competition law practice is aimed at complex case solving. Students will elaborate on specific case-questions, or will solve cases in small working groups in the classroom during the seminar. The cases relate to issues of European competition law such as horizontal and vertical agreements, the Merger Control Regulation, the relationship between Competition and the State, proof and procedures and abuse of dominance. Most case questions are (based on) real cases, and actual, non-decided cases, will be discussed during the course. Students from the same master will be grouped together for the seminars as much as possible, so that issues specific to these masters may be discussed or highlighted.
During both lectures, extra lectures and seminars attention will be given to current developments in competition law, possible criticism on the theoretical framework and application of competition law and the influence of economics on legal concepts of competition law. With that, the course takes a multi-dimensional approach to competition law. Open office hours of the lecturers involved will be announced. The course European competition law is relevant both for students who are interested in European law and for students who, after completing their studies, intend to work for companies or (large) law firms.
Place of the course within the curriculum:

  • Compulsory course in the master Law and Economics
  • Compulsary course in the specialisation 'International Business'
  • Compulsory course in the specialisation 'European Law'

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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