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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title EU Institutional Law
Module Code LG5024
School School of Law & Government
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Niels Kirst
Semester 2: Niels Kirst
Autumn: Niels Kirst
Module TeachersNiels Kirst
NFQ level 9 Credit Rating 10
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None
Coursework Only
A single assignment of 5000 words

The course examines some key features of the legal order of the European Union (EU) with the aim to deepen students’ understanding of the interaction between law and policy in the EU. Classes will focus on several dimensions of the EU constitutional system, exploring the institutional architecture of the EU (the executive, the legislature and the courts), the interaction between the EU and the national legal orders – as well as a number of substantive policy areas, including economic governance and the rule of law. The course will also offer students the possibility to debate in depth several recent legal and political developments, which are taking place in the EU and currently are attracting heightened public attention – notably the challenges of maintaining the unity of the Union in the face of growing centrifugal pressures.

Learning Outcomes

1. understand the key theories regarding the role of law in the process of European integration;
2. critically assess and analyse the complex and nuanced nature of the constitutional and institutional structure of the EU legal order;
3. A detailed understanding of recent constitutional developments in European law and integration in their political context
4. Research EU law and to be able to use databases of the various institutions effectively.

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture88Lecture attendance including active participation, contributing to discussions and debate (22 hrs) Lecture preparation including research, reading and self-directed learning on a number of issues. (6 hrs x 11 = 66)
Assignment Completion37Selection of topic and completion of an extended assignment on a topical issue of EU law. Students will be expected to conduct original and substantial research in EU and master the various research resources. The assignment will take the form of an essay in which students will be expected to display a critical approach and advance an original argument or analysis.
Total Workload: 125

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

EU Institutional architecture
An assessment of all the main EU institutions and organs including the European Council, Council of Ministers, European Court of Justice, European Parliament and various agencies and their interaction. The topic will also address the legislative process, executive and judicial processes. The topic will also address the extent to which a classic separation of powers operates in the EU constitution.

Multi-Levelled Legal Order
Addressing the role of national courts and governments in the implementation, enforcement and application of EU law specifically drawing on multi-levelled analysis to assess the EU's political and legal system. An emphasis will be placed on the complementary and interactive roles of the national and suprnational.

General principles, fundamental rights and rule of law in Europe
An assessment of the general principles, fundamental rights and rule of law in the EU legal order covering sources, content and enforcement mechanisms. A number of case studies will also be employed.

The Future of the EU
The final sessions shall address topical issues facing the EU such as the Eurocrisis, the migration crisis and Brexit and the political and legal response to these various developments.

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
Extended Essay / DissertationThe course is assessed by means of a single assignment of 5000 words . A choice of three essay titles will be presented from which students chose one. Students will be expected to carry out independent research and address the topic from an original perspective100%Week 7
Reassessment Requirement Type
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
This module is category 1
Indicative Reading List

  • CRAIG, Paul & DE BURCA, Grainne: 2015, EU Law, 6, OUP,
  • HARTELY, Trevor: 2013, The Foundations of EU Law, 8, OUP,
  • VAN MIDDELAAR, Luuk: 2013, The Passage to Europe, Yale UP,
  • ALTER, Karen: 2001, Establishing the Supremacy of European Law, OUP,
  • FABBRINI, Federico: 2016, Economic Governance in Europe, OUP,
Other Resources

Programme or List of Programmes
EMLDAIEM in Law, Data &Artificial Intelligence
MDPPLCMA in Data Protection and Privacy: Law
MELPMaster of Arts in European Law & Policy
MPPMSc in Public Policy

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