LL4BH      Half Unit
Contemporary Issues of European Union Law

This information is for the 2015/16 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Jan Komarek COW 1.04


This course is available on the Master of Laws and Master of Laws (extended part-time study). This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

This course is capped at 30 students. Students must apply through Graduate Course Choice on LSEforYou.

For the LLM (Specialisms: European Law, Public Law, Human Rights Law)


Basic knowledge (at an undergraduate level) of EU law is required. 

Course content

Each year we select topics to be covered by this course in order to make it truly “contemporary” issues of EU law. We will therefore focus on questions that are raised in debates amongst not only legal academics and EU law practitioners, but also and in the general public, which is increasingly aware of the EU’s role in the “experience of government” in Europe. In 2015-16 we will discuss for example the role of the EU in enforcing its values against its own Member States (should the EU somewhat intervene in Hungary and if so, how?), whether it is a good idea for the EU to accede to the European Convention and what to make of the ECJ’s opinion that rejected the draft agreement to that effect, or what are the implications of the Euro-crisis for the structure of the EU (is a looser Union a solution, with Greece or the UK having a different arrangement from the core of the EU, each for their own reasons?)


We will also deal with topics that are perennial and yet “contemporary”: the legitimacy of the ECJ – also in the light of the recent battle between the President of the ECJ and the Tribunal over the Tribunal’s reform this year, legal reasoning in the EU (where observers of the ECJ seem to be never satisfied) or the relationship between the ECJ and national constitutional courts (where the German Constitutional Court is only one of the important actors). The nature of the EU will be also discussed (does it still make sense to think about it in terms of international or constitutional law, as the old controversy suggests, or is there another paradigm available)?


Finally, we will take up some issues of EU substantive law – these will be selected later, depending on availability of guests to the course.


20 hours of seminars in the MT.

Formative coursework

All students are expected to produce one 2,000 word formative essay during the course.

Indicative reading

G de Búrca and JHH Weiler (eds), The Worlds of European Constitutionalism (CUP 2012),


P Lindseth, Power and Legitimacy: Reconciling Europe and the Nation-State (OUP 2010);


F Scharpf, Governing in Europe (OUP 1999);


A Stone Sweet, The Judicial Construction of Europe (OUP 2004);


K and K Tuori, The Eurozone Crisis (CUP 2014)


JHH Weiler, The Constitution of Europe : “Do the New Clothes Have an Emperor?” And Other Essays on European Integration (CUP 1999).


Exam (100%, duration: 2 hours, reading time: 15 minutes) in the LT week 0.

Key facts

Department: Law

Total students 2014/15: 10

Average class size 2014/15: 10

Controlled access 2014/15: Yes

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information