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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Law : Law

Postgraduate Course: The EU's Changing Constitution (LAWS11417)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Law CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe principal aims and objectives of the course are to consider and analyse EU constitutional law and the evolving principles underpinning its development.

Course description The course is broadly divided into two parts.

The first group of seminars addresses the constitutionalisation of the EU treaties, focusing on the pivotal constitutional doctrines developed by the Court of Justice in its legal-order building capacity.

In the second part of the course, elements of constitutional pluralism as they relate to the EU will be explored, looking at questions such as democracy, legitimacy, fundamental rights and citizenship.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2019/20, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  25
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 176 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Summative Assessment Component:

This course will be assessed via the completion of a judgement / legal opinion drafting exercise to be completed over a 4.5 working day period. This will be worth 100% of the total mark.

Outline of Assessment:

Three judgements of the Court of Justice will be revealed at 9am on Monday in the second week of the examination block, students will be asked to draft an Advocate General¿s Opinion for an appeal in one of these cases, to be submitted by 2pm on Friday of the same week (max of 20 numbered paragraphs; limit of 3500 words including footnotes).

Structure and style of AG Opinions will be discussed in class and the formative assessment will offer the opportunity to draft five paragraphs on which feedback will be received.
Feedback Students will be given the opportunity to complete one piece of writing as a formative assessment during the first half of the semester. They will be given detailed individual written, and if required, oral feedback.

Students receive detailed written individual feedback on their summative assessment.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Students will acquire in-depth knowledge of EU constitutional law and engage with theoretical perspectives on pluralist constitutionalism more broadly.
  2. Students will improve their capacity to critically analyse these doctrines and to place them into a wider context.
  3. Students will improve their understanding of the complex relations between the EU legal order and other legal orders.
  4. Students will acquire a good understanding of current theoretical debates in EU constitutionalism and will be enabled to critically assess them.
  5. Students will improve their written and oral legal argumentation skills.
Reading List
Ian Ward, A Critical Introduction to European Law, 3 edn, CUP 2009, Chapters 1 and 2
Neil MacCormick, Beyond the Sovereign State, 56 Modern Law Review (1993) 1
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills By the end of the courses, student will have:

» Strengthened their oral and written communication skills.
» Developed their critical analysis skills
» Improved their autonomy as learners and thinkers.
KeywordsEU,EU Constitutional Law,International,Constitutionalisation,Postgraduate
Course organiserProf Niamh Nic Shuibhne
Tel: (0131 6)50 2049
Course secretaryMr Kevin Duckworth
Tel: (0131 6)50 2002
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