Basic EU Law, A level, 7.5 credits

Welcome to the Spring Semester 2018 of Basic EU Law!

Welcome to BEUL!

This letter is for those who have been admitted to the course Basic EU Law for the Spring 2018 semester. Some of you will simultaneously be taking Introduction to Swedish Law (see below regarding Basic Course in Law), a separate law course our Department of Law offers in English, therefore we in the law department have coordinated the two courses' schedules so you should not have any schedule conflicts. If you are taking any different second course, take special note of all seminar meeting times in this course, since seminar meetings are mandatory and this course does require 20 hours per week of your time.

My name is Mattias Derlén and I am the instructor primarily responsible for the academic side of the Basic EU Law course this term. Katarina Lundqvist is the course adminstrator this term and will handle all administrative, non-academic questions. We hope this welcome letter will answer any questions you might have regarding the course before its first meeting, but feel free to contact us if not.

Also, make sure to check regularly the course website, available through Cambro once the course starts, at www.cambro.umu.se. All assignments and announcements will be posted there for the duration of the course. Questions regarding Cambro access are best answered by the university's IT help desk (www.servicedesk.its.umu.se). The student web portal to the university, Portalen, provides your grade transcripts, your exam sign-up, and other information, so look for that online as well and be sure you can log in.  

Basic Course in Law for the International Business Program

Some of you will study Basic EU Law as part of Basic Course in Law on the International Business Programme. The course Basic Course in Law consists of two courses - Introduction to Swedish Law and Basic EU Law. You will follow the course Basic EU Law just like the students taking the course as a separate course, the only difference is that you will receive an overall grade for the course Basic Course in Law based on the two exams for Introduction to Swedish Law and Basic EU Law. 

What will you learn in the course?

With the continuing expansion of the European Union, both in terms of Member States and the policy areas covered, it has become vital for persons from inside and outside of the EU to be familiar with the Union’s legal system. Judgments from the European Court of Justice are repeatedly referred to in the press and often have significant effects on our daily lives. Happenings like Brexit also underscore the still-developing nature of the EU, its law and its relationship to its Member States.

After having completed Basic EU Law you will have gained a deeper understanding of the European Union. You will recognize some of the basic principles of the EU legal system and will be able to read and analyze judgments of the Court of Justice of the European Union (the CJEU). You will be familiar with the institutional framework of the EU, the relationship between EU law and national (Member State) law, some of the substance of EU law including fundamental rights protected by it, and its enforcement. 

Activities

As the schedule shows, the course includes some lectures but also seven active, engaging mandatory seminars, where the students meet in groups and together with a teacher discuss a specific topic of EU law. Much of the learning in the course will take place in assigned student study groups which meet in advance to prepare for each seminar, and then in the seminars themselves. Please expect that this will take a significant investment of time on your part; this half-time course is meant to involve approximately 20 hours per week of focused academic work including individual preparation, group preparation and class meetings.

Specific instructions regarding the topic(s), questions and materials for each seminar will be posted on the course website in Cambro. We will also discuss other details at our first meeting.

Materials

Please see the Course Literature webpage for this course to know which books and other materials to buy or download in advance of our first course meeting. The course textbook is Robert Schütze, An Introduction to European Law, Second Edition (Cambridge University Press 2015), though you also need the EU's main Treaties and selected case law judgments, as described on the Course Literature page. We suggest that you order your copy of at least the main textbook immediately, so you are ready to begin reading before the course begins. A few copies of the textbook are also on reserve in the university's main library. The judgments we assign for you to analyze can be downloaded free of charge from the website of the European Union, http://eur-lex.europa.eu/homepage.html?locale=en. Which ones you need will be announced on Cambro before each seminar.

Examination

To pass the course you need to pass both the mandatory seminars and a written final exam at the end of the course. Your grade in the course ("no pass," "pass," or "pass with distinction") will be determined entirely by your grade on the written exam, so long as you have also passed the seminars via active participation in them and received a passing grade on any specially-assigned make-up work for any seminar from which you were absent. Note that Basic EU Law is a course offered on-campus in Umeå, and is not a course that can be taken from elsewhere.

There will be an opportunity for re-examination, approximately one month after the first exam opportunity, in case you miss or do not pass the first exam. See the schedule for time and place of these exams. You are allowed to bring to the exam only a copy of the unannotated (i.e. without any notes or remarks) texts of the TFEU and TEU Treaties (in English and/or your preferred language), in paper form, and a general, non-legal, paper dictionary in English if desired. Note that you need to register for the exam (or re-exam) at least ten days in advance, on Portalen, the student web portal. 

Introduction & Registration

The course starts with introduction and registration at 10:15 on Wednesday, January 17, 2018 in room TA305, in the House of Technical Science. Registration will be followed by the first lecture of the course at 13.15. In the unfortunate circumstance that you miss this first meeting due to illness or otherwise, but still intend to take the course, please contact me by e-mail on or before that day. Workgroups will be assigned as quickly as possible after registration, so we must have a final understanding of who will be attending the course.  

Questions?

If you have any problems or questions of an academic nature, you can email me at mattias.derlen@umu.se. If you have questions or problems of an administrative nature, such as regarding your enrollment, you can email Katarina Lundqvist at katarina.lundqvist@umu.se or you can call her at (+46) 090-786 88 28. Our offices are in the law department on the fifth floor of the Social Sciences building. 

Best regards and we look forward to meeting you,
Mattias Derlén & Katarina Lundqvist