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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Law : Law

Postgraduate Course: EU Criminal and Immigration Law (LAWS11376)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Law CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryEU Criminal and Immigration Law are probably the fastest-growing areas in EU Law, and their relevance and impact have only been growing over last decades. Their uniqueness lies in combining two completely different legal phenomena: on the one hand, EU law, a transnational discipline mainly built around economic freedoms; on the other, criminal and immigration law, the most sensitive strongholds of national sovereignty. Even though for decades these were not considered proper areas of EU Law - due to the lack of Union's competences - major interaction materialised between the law of the fundamental freedoms and domestic rules related to immigration control and penalisation.

This dramatic interaction has been heightened by recent EU Treaties reforms, which have conferred upon the Union explicit powers in this respect. There is now a comprehensive body of measures in these areas, subject to judicial interpretation and implementation by agencies and offices at different levels throughout the Union. Thorny issues have been arising in terms of fundamental rights protection, with an increasing interplay - or even friction - between EU Criminal and Immigration Law, on the one hand, and international and constitutional laws on the other. In particular, criminal and immigration laws, are strictly intertwined at EU level, as tools traditionally used in the context of criminal law (detention, surveillance, preventive measures) are now part and parcel of the Union strategy for immigration control.

This course is aimed to provide the students with the foundations of EU Criminal and Immigration Law, with a focus on their interaction in the sense described. The students will engage in discussion on primary and secondary sources, as well as analysis of the centrepieces of the area. Through the involvement of practitioners, they will be exposed to different approaches and address the topics from a theoretical, and practical, points of view.
Course description The course will offer the students an insight into legal issues arising from the coming into being and development of EU Criminal and Immigration Law. The aim of the course is to make students aware of the importance of adopting different perspectives when approaching the questions addressed in the seminars. The conceptual and theoretical plan will be flanked by a close analysis of day-today operation of EU Criminal and Immigration Law.

The course content will cover, inter alia:

- Legal and Historical Background of EU Criminal and Immigration Law;
- Principles and Legal Bases;
- The European Arrest Warrant (legislation, interpretation and enforcement);
- EU Bodies, offices and agencies operating in EU Criminal and Immigration Law;
- Crimmigration: criminalisation and application of invasive measures to migration control: The Dublin system and the fight against irregular migration.

The course will be taught in ten seminars addressing the issues referred to above. The course will be based on a high level of interaction, fostered by the implementation of class participation. Students will gain an insight into the tenets of EU Criminal and Immigration Law by being exposed to different perspectives and methodologies. The course is aimed at providing the students with deep knowledge of the centerpieces of EU Criminal and Immigration Law, which will be acquired through the improvement of their analytical, synthesis and problems solving skills. The achievement of these goals will be assessed by a blogpost on a recent development in this area of law and an essay of 4000 words. Students will be given a choice of topics in both cases. Furthermore, the best blogpost will be awarded with the 'prize' of the publication in the blog of the Europa Institute (

Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2017/18, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  50
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 4, Formative Assessment Hours 2, Summative Assessment Hours 4, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 166 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) The assessment of the students will be based on three different sources:«br /»
* Class Participation (worth 10%)«br /»
* Blogpost (max 1000 words, worth 25%)«br /»
* End of semester essay (max 4000 words, worth 65%)«br /»
«br /»
The combination of these different methods of evaluation will allow the course organiser assess the students through a broad spectrum of skills. Class participation will serve the purposes of evaluating students in their seminar-by-seminar commitment to the course, as well as their oral and reasoning skills. In the essay, students' analytical abilities will be assessed. The blogpost is a key channel of dissemination nowadays, as well as an excellent exercise for improving synthesis capacities. The 'prize' of the publication on the blog will constitute a great incentive for the students.
Feedback The feedback will be based on student's capacity for analysis and synthesis, as well as their skills in original thinking and problem solving. Four kinds of feedback will be provided over the course:
- Constant feedback in classroom discussion. Furthermore, before reading week the CO will meet the students individually and discuss their level of class participation. This will be a further opportunity to highlight strengths and weaknesses of students' performance, allowing them pursue an effective strategy for improvement.
- Feedback on the formative assessment. Since the formative assessment will be conceived as a 'rehearsal' for the final exam, feedback on this will be particularly helpful to the students.
- Feedback on the blogpost. Students will be confronted with the writing of a blogpost on a recent development in EU Criminal and Immigration Law (judgement, legislative act and the like). This form of research dissemination is increasingly relevant in EU law, so that feedback on the blogpost will help students familiarise with this form of publication.
- Feedback on the essay. Through this feedback, students will be given suggestions as to how improving their analytical and problem solving skills in relation to a more traditional type of legal writing.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate and/or work with knowledge and understanding of the ways in which EU Criminal and Immigration Law is developing.
  2. Apply knowledge, skills and understanding in using a wide range of the principal materials associated with EU Criminal and Immigration Law.
  3. Offer insights, interpretations and solutions to problems and issues related to EU Criminal and Immigration Law.
  4. Use a wide range of routine skills (bibliographical research) and some advanced and specialised skills in support of established practices in EU Criminal and Immigration Law.
  5. Manage resources within defined areas of EU Criminal and Immigration Law.
Reading List
Reading lists will be prepared each year, depending on the specific topics discussed in class.

Books suggested as a starting point are:
Mitsilegas, EU Criminal Law ( ;
Klip, European Criminal Law ( ;
Mitsilegas, Bergström, Konstantinides, Research Handbook on European Criminal Law (

Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Cognitive skills:
* Use a range of approaches to address defined and/or routine problems and issues within familiar contexts.
* Undertake critical analysis, evaluation and/or synthesis of ideas, concepts, information and issues that are within the common understandings in EU Criminal Law and Immigration Law.
* Present and evaluate arguments, information and ideas that are routine to EU Criminal and Immigration Law.

Communication, numeracy and IT skills:
* Use a wide range of routine skills, such as:
* Convey complex ideas in well-structured and coherent form.
* Communicate, using appropriate methods, with peers and staff members. with different levels of knowledge/expertise.
* Present or convey information about EU Criminal and Immigration Law to staff members and peers.
* Undertake critical evaluations of a wide range of sources associated with EU Criminal and Immigration Law.

Autonomy, accountability and working with others.

* Use of a wide range of routine skills and a significant range of advanced and specialised skills, in particular:
* Exercise autonomy and initiative in research activities.
* Practise in ways that show awareness of own and others' roles, responsibilities and contributions.
* Take responsibility for a range of resources.
* Work in a peer relationship with other students.
* Demonstrate initiative and make a contribution to change and development and/or new thinking.
KeywordsCriminal law; immigration law; general principles; fundamental rights; citizenship; free movement;
Course organiserDr Leandro Mancano
Tel: (0131 6)50 2050
Course secretaryMr David Morris
Tel: (0131 6)50 2010
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