LL4BG      Half Unit
Rethinking EU Law

This information is for the 2024/25 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof. Floris de Witte


This course is available on the LLM (extended part-time), LLM (full-time), MSc in European and International Politics and Policy, MSc in European and International Politics and Policy (LSE and Bocconi), MSc in European and International Politics and Policy (LSE and Sciences Po), MSc in European and International Public Policy (LSE and Bocconi), MSc in European and International Public Policy (LSE and Sciences Po) and University of Pennsylvania Law School LLM Visiting Students. 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 institutions, EU law or European integration is useful but not required.

Course content

The course offers a critical re-examination of some of the central themes in EU legal studies. It consists of two parts. In the first part, we will explore how to think about European integration – in its colonial, economic, social, and cultural dimensions, and what the role of law may be in this process. It analyses different methodological commitments in exploring these questions, and asks how the role of law has changed as the EU itself is facing new challenges.

The second part of the course applies what we’ve learned and explores a number of different dimensions of European integration. We will analyse and re-think how EU law is both an instrument that creates European integration, but also something that comes with specific economic, social and cultural assumptions. The areas that we will explore will be taken from the following range: animal rights, geographical indication protection rules, LGBTQ+ rights, access to welfare benefits for migrants, equality law, and the legislation on the EU’s ‘sovereign autonomy’.


This course will have two hours of teaching content each week in Winter Term. There will be a Reading Week in Week 6 of Winter Term.

Formative coursework

All students are expected to produce one 1,500 word formative essay during the course.

Indicative reading

Azoulai, ‘The Law of European Society’ (2022) 59 CMLR 203.

Neuvonen, “A way of critique: What can EU legal scholars learn from critical theory?” (2022) European Law Open.

Panasci, ‘Unravelling Next Generation EU as a Transformative Moment: From Market Integration to Redistribution (2024) 61 CMLR 13.

Von Bogdandy, ‘The Emergence of European Society through Public Law’ (OUP 2024).

De Witte, ‘Where the Wild Things Are: Animal Autonomy in EU Law’ (2023) 60 CMLR 391

Ristuccia, ‘Ties that bind and ties that compel: Dependency and the Ruiz Zambrano doctrine’ (2023) 60 CMLR 1227.


Exam (100%, duration: 2 hours and 30 minutes) in the spring exam period.

Key facts

Department: Law School

Total students 2023/24: 17

Average class size 2023/24: 17

Controlled access 2023/24: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.