EU Constitutional Law

15 credits, Fall Semester 2017

Welcome to the Fall Semester 2017

My name is Mattias Derlén and I am the teacher in charge of the course. I hope the information below will answer any questions you might have regarding the course. If you have some additional questions, do not hesitate to contact me by any of the means listed on the bottom of this page. Also, make sure to regularly check the course website, available through Cambro once the course starts, .

What will you learn?

After completing the course you will have in-depth knowledge of the constitutional aspects of the European Union. This means that the course focuses on the nature and relationship of different EU and national institutions and in particular their power to govern, regulate, and adjudicate. In the course you will learn about the (constitutional) legal ordering of the European Union, in particular in relation to the Member States. More specifically, you will learn about (i) its history and structure, (ii) powers and procedures, and (iii) rights under EU law and remedies when they are violated.

How will you learn this?  

Understanding the legal ordering of the EU can be challenging as the Union has gradually developed from an entity based on international into a more federal-like entity without establishing a constitution in the ordinary, more narrow sense of the word, i.e. a constitutional document proper. Understanding the legal ordering of the European Union therefore requires exploring a wide range of sources (Treaties, principles, case law etc.) and extensive analysis.

This is reflected in the design of the teaching. The course includes a large number of "discussion seminars" where we will jointly (and often under the leadership of a particular working group of students) explore some of the most challenging issues in constitutional European Union law, such as supremacy, direct, indirect and other types of "effects", fundamental rights, and the role of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU). To be able to effectively discuss these vast and complex issues you will need to prepare by reading and considering the most up-to-date sources in the field. The seminars are supplemented by a number of lectures on other topics.


First, before the course begins you must acquire consolidated, English language copies of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) and the Treaty on European Union (also called the EU Treaty). You can buy printed copies of the treaties available from most bookshops. A printed copy can also be bought from the Umeå University Printing Center located in the House of Administration. Copies can also be downloaded free of charge from the website of the European Union (EUR-Lex). 

Second, before the course begins you must also acquire a copy of the main textbook: Robert Schütze, European Constitutional Law, 2nd edition (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2016).

Throughout the course you will be required to read additional material. This includes decisions by the CJEU, available at the Court's website, and scholarly articles that will be distributed in an electronic form through the course website. 


In order to pass the course you must actively participate in all seminars. In addition, you are examined through an individually written essay that is due at the end of the semester. Further instructions regarding the essay will be given at the course introduction. Please note that plagiarism and other forms of cheating is strictly prohibited (see further information provided in Cambro).

Introduction and registration

The course begins on Wednesday, November 1, 2017 and registration will take place in hall S304 (3rd floor of the Social Science Building) at 13.15. If you want to be registered for the course but are unable to attend you must contact me in advance.

I am looking forward to meeting you and many rewarding discussions!

Mattias Derlén 

Contact information

Teacher in charge of the course:
Mattias Derlén 
Phone: +46 (90) 786 92 32

Course administrator:
Katarina Lundqvist
Phone: +46(0)90-786 88 28

Sidansvarig: Sofia Strömgren



Course DescriptionApplication InformationSyllabus

Course Literature

The above syllabus also applies when the course is taken as a part of the Master of Law-programme, except that the grading scale for the Master of Law-programme is used.

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For Admitted Students

Course Material (Cambro)Schedule