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European Union Law — Overview

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For more detailed information about our work in this area, see also the dedicated Institute of European and Comparative Law website

This theme contains two subjects, namely: European Business Regulation and European Union Law


European Business Regulation

Publications

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Showing key publications in this field, as selected by the author
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Show All 9 | Recent publications

WG Ringe, 'Sparking Regulatory Competition in European Company Law - The Impact of the Centros Line of Case-Law and its Concept of 'Abuse of Law'' in R de la Feria and S Vogenauer (eds), Prohibition of Abuse of Law - A New General Principle of EU Law (Hart Publishing 2011) [...]

The case-law of the European Court of Justice in the field of company law has repeatedly touched on the question of abuse, most notably in the situation where a company was set up in a Member State only to do business exclusively in another. Starting with the landmark case of Centros in 1999, the Court has repeatedly stressed that it employs a liberal approach towards abuse in this field. According to the Court, making use of the disparities of different legal standards when setting up a company is not abuse, but explicit use of the freedom of establishment. This paper analyses the Court’s approach towards abusive behaviour in company law and assesses the impact that the leading cases since 1999 have had both on business behaviour in the EU and on the national law-makers who have responded to the opening of the markets. It is shown that the Court has provoked a sizeable entrepreneurial migration from various countries towards the UK. This in turn has led to regulatory competition, in that other Member States in continental Europe have been forced to adapt their company law to make it more attractive for businesses. It is argued that at least so far, the (limited) competition between Member States has been beneficial and has reduced both registration time and costs. Questions remain as to the relevance of any comparison with the United States and the future developments for corporate re-incorporations.


ISBN: 1841139386

Courses

The courses we offer in this field are:

Postgraduate

BCL

Our taught postgraduate programme, designed to serve outstanding law students from common-law backgrounds

European Business Regulation: the law of the EU's internal market

This course examines the legal basis of the "level playing field" of the internal market of the European Union, covering the law of free movement across borders (goods, establishment and services), as well as competence to regulate the internal market, with special reference to the function of harmonisation of laws. Some or all of selected topics in public procurement, consumer law, company law, intellectual property, state aids and energy law will be addressed. The principal course objective is to enable students to acquire knowledge and understanding of the law in relation to the above subject matter, and to be able to discuss critically at an advanced level the legal and policy issues arising therefrom - including in particular the relationship between the judicial and the legislative contributions to the making of the EU's internal market.

 

The normal pattern of teaching involves seminars and lectures in Michaelmas and Hilary Terms, and tutorials in Trinity Term. The teaching group includes, but is not necessarily limited to, Professor S R Weatherill, Dr Angus Johnston , Dr Wolf-Georg Ringe, Professor D A Wyatt, Dr C Quigley, Professor S Enchelmaier, and Professor Katja Ziegler.

MJur

Our taught postgraduate programme, designed to serve outstanding law students from civil law backgrounds.

European Business Regulation: the law of the EU's internal market

This course examines the legal basis of the "level playing field" of the internal market of the European Union, covering the law of free movement across borders (goods, establishment and services), as well as competence to regulate the internal market, with special reference to the function of harmonisation of laws. Some or all of selected topics in public procurement, consumer law, company law, intellectual property, state aids and energy law will be addressed. The principal course objective is to enable students to acquire knowledge and understanding of the law in relation to the above subject matter, and to be able to discuss critically at an advanced level the legal and policy issues arising therefrom - including in particular the relationship between the judicial and the legislative contributions to the making of the EU's internal market.

 

The normal pattern of teaching involves seminars and lectures in Michaelmas and Hilary Terms, and tutorials in Trinity Term. The teaching group includes, but is not necessarily limited to, Professor S R Weatherill, Dr Angus Johnston , Dr Wolf-Georg Ringe, Professor D A Wyatt, Dr C Quigley, Professor S Enchelmaier, and Professor Katja Ziegler.

MSc (Master's in Law and Finance)

European Business Regulation: the law of the EU's internal market

This course examines the legal basis of the "level playing field" of the internal market of the European Union, covering the law of free movement across borders (goods, establishment and services), as well as competence to regulate the internal market, with special reference to the function of harmonisation of laws. Some or all of selected topics in public procurement, consumer law, company law, intellectual property, state aids and energy law will be addressed. The principal course objective is to enable students to acquire knowledge and understanding of the law in relation to the above subject matter, and to be able to discuss critically at an advanced level the legal and policy issues arising therefrom - including in particular the relationship between the judicial and the legislative contributions to the making of the EU's internal market.

 

The normal pattern of teaching involves seminars and lectures in Michaelmas and Hilary Terms, and tutorials in Trinity Term. The teaching group includes, but is not necessarily limited to, Professor S R Weatherill, Dr Angus Johnston , Dr Wolf-Georg Ringe, Professor D A Wyatt, Dr C Quigley, Professor S Enchelmaier, and Professor Katja Ziegler.


People

European Business Regulation teaching is organized by a Subject Group convened by:

Stephen Weatherill: Jacques Delors Professor of European Law

in conjunction with:

Hugh Collins: Vinerian Professor
Stefan Enchelmaier: Professor of European and Comparative Law
Luca Enriques: Allen & Overy Professor of Corporate Law
Angus Johnston: Professor of Law

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European Union Law

Forthcoming Subject Events


October 2014

EU Law Discussion Group
Europe’s Area of Freedom, Security and Justice through the Prism of Constitutionalism: Why the EU Needs a Grammar of Justice to Improve its Legitimacy
Speaker: Professor Ester Herlin-Karnell, VU University Amsterdam
Oxford Law Faculty Senior Common Room (with lunch available from 12.30 in the SCR) at 12:30

November 2014

EU Law Discussion Group
Some Recent EU Law Developments Concerning Renewable Energy: Free Movement and State Aid
Speaker: Professor Angus Johnston, University of Oxford
Oxford Law Faculty Seminar Room D (with lunch from 12.30 in the Foyer of the IECL) at 13:00
EU Law Discussion Group
Money Talks? The Interplay between the EU
Speaker: Dr Suzanne Kingston, University College Dublin
Oxford Law Faculty Senior Common Room (with lunch available from 12.30 in the SCR) at 12:30

December 2014

EU Law Discussion Group
What Kind of Legitimacy for What Kind of Court of the EU?
Speaker: Dr Jan Komárek, London School of Economics
Oxford Law Faculty The Cube (with lunch from 12:30 in the Foyer of the IECL) at 13:00

News

The Unitary (EU) Patent System Conference 2013

On 4 and 5 October 2013, Oxford’s Institute of European and Comparative Law (IECL), in collaboration with the University of East Anglia's ESRC Centre for Competition Policy, hosted a two-day conference on the unitary (EU) patent system to mark the 40th and 50th anniversaries of the signing of the European and Strasbourg Patent Conventions […]

Discussion Groups

These self-sustaining groups are an essential part of the life of our graduate school. They are organised in some cases by graduate students and in others by Faculty members and meet regularly during term, typically over a sandwich lunch, when one of the group presents work in progress or introduces a discussion of a particular issue or new case. They may also encompass guest speakers from the faculty and beyond.

EU Law Discussion Group

Publications

Showing selected publications sorted by author, then title  [change this]

Showing key publications in this field, as selected by the author
Change to sort them by year | title | type OR
Show All 175 | Recent publications

C Costello, 'Article 33 - Family & Professional Life' in Steve Peers, Tamara Hervey, Jeff Kenner and Angela Ward (eds), The EU Charter of Fundamental Rights - A Commentary (Hart Publishing 2014)

C Costello, 'Citizenship of the Union: Above Abuse?' in Rita de la Feria & Stefan Vogenauer (eds), Prohibition of Abuse of Law: A New General Principle of EU Law (Hart Publishing 2011)

C Costello, 'Metock: Free Movement and “Normal Family Life" in the Union ' (2009) Common Market Law Review 587

Violeta Moreno-Lax and C Costello, 'The Extraterritorial Application of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights: From Territoriality to Facticity, the Effectiveness Model' in Steve Peers, Tamara Hervey, Jeff Kenner and Angela Ward (eds), The EU Charter of Fundamental Rights - A Commentary (Hart Publishing 2014)

P P Craig, 'The ECJ and Ultra Vires Action: A Conceptual Analysis' (2011) 48 Common Market Law Review 395

P P Craig, 'The Legal Effect of Directives: Policy, Rules and Exceptions' (2009) 34 European Law Review 349

P P Craig, The Lisbon Treaty, Law, Politics and Treaty Reform (Oxford University Press 2010)

J Dickson, 'Directives in European Union Legal Systems: Whose Norms Are They Anyway?' (2011) 17 European Law Journal 190 [...]

This article is concerned with whether the concept of a legal system - long a centrepiece of state-based legal theories – is a useful conceptual tool in theorising the contemporary European Union and its legal relations with its Member States. The focus lies particularly with EU Directives, and with what the character and operation of this distinctive type of EU norm can tell us a regards the existence of and relations between legal systems in the EU. I argue for the view that the EU is comprised of distinct but interacting legal systems at EU and national level, and claim that the character and operation of directives supports this view. Throughout the discussion I try to bring the conceptual tools of analytical legal philosophy to bear on puzzles generated by EU law and its relations with national law, in order to show that a sound analysis of aspects of the EU can benefit from abstract legal philosophical reflection, and vice versa.


ISBN: 1468-0386

S Douglas-Scott, 'Pluralism and Justice in the EU' (2012) 65 UCL Current Legal Problems series 83

S Douglas-Scott, 'The European Union and Human Rights after the Treaty of Lisbon' (2011) Human Rights Law Review 1

S Douglas-Scott, 'The problem of justice in the EU' in Dickson and Eleftheriadis (eds), The Philosophical Foundations of the EU (OUP 2012)

C Hodges and others, Consumer ADR in Europe (C Hodges, I Benoehr and N Creutzfeldt-Banda, Hart Publishing 2012)

C Hodges, 'The European Approach to Justice and Redress' (2011) Canadian Supreme Court Law Review 301

A Johnston and Guy Block, EU Energy Law (Oxford University Press 2012)

A Johnston, 'Instances and Analysis of Feedback in the Loop-flow between EC Law and National Private Law: Some Tentative Insights for Comparative and European Community Lawyers' in O. Remien (ed), Schuldrechtsmodernisierung und Europäisches Vertragsrecht (Mohr Siebeck 2008)

A Johnston and others, 'The Proposed New EU Renewables Directive: Interpretation, Problems and Prospects' (2008) European Energy and Environmental Law Review 126

A Johnston, '‘Spillovers’ from EU Law into National Law: (Un)intended Consequences for Private Law Relationships' in Dorota £eczykiewicz and Stephen Weatherill (eds), The Involvement of EU Law in Private Law Relationships (Hart Publishing 2013)

R de la Feria and S Vogenauer (eds), Prohibition of Abuse of Law: A New General Principle of EU Law? (Hart Publishing 2011) [...]

xxv + 636 pp. The Court of Justice has been alluding to 'abuse and abusive practices' for more than thirty years, but for a long time the significance of these references has been unclear. Few lawyers examined the case law, and those who did doubted whether it had led to the development of a legal principle. Within the last few years there has been a radical change of attitude, largely due to the development by the Court of an abuse test and its application within the field of taxation. In this book, academics and practitioners from all over Europe discuss the development of the Court's approach to abuse of law across the whole spectrum of European Union law, analysing the case-law from the 1970s to the present day and exploring the consequences of the introduction of the newly designated 'principle of prohibition of abuse of law' for the development of the laws of the EU and those of the Member States.


ISBN: 978-1-84113-938-8

S R Weatherill, 'Competence and Legitimacy' in C. Barnard and O. Odudu (eds), The Outer Limits of European Union Law (Hart Publishing 2009)

S R Weatherill, 'EU Sports Law: The Effect of the Lisbon Treaty' in A. Biondi, P. Eeckhout and S. Ripley (eds), EU Law After Lisbon (Oxford: OUP. 2012)

S R Weatherill, 'The Consumer Rights Directive: how and why a quest for “coherence” has (largely) failed' (2012) 49 Common Market Law Review nya

S R Weatherill, 'The limits of legislative harmonisation ten years after Tobacco Advertising: how the Court’s case law has become a “drafting guide”' (2011) 12 German Law Journal 827

Courses

The courses we offer in this field are:

Undergraduate

FHS - Final Year (Phase III)

The degree is awarded on the basis of nine final examinations at the end of the three-year course (or four years in the case of Law with Law Studies in Europe) and (for students who began the course in October 2011 or later) an essay in Jurisprudence written over the summer vacation at the end of the second year. Note: the Jurisprudence exam at the end of the third year is correspondingly shorter. This phase of the Final Honour School includes the first and second term of the final year; the Final Examinations are taken in the third term of the final year.

European Union Law

The law of the European Union is based largely on the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty on the functioning of the European Union, and legislation made under the Treaties by the Council, the Parliament, and the Commission. The case law of the European Courts is of considerable importance and looms large in the study of EU law. EU law takes immediate effect in English Law, and is enforceable by English courts. EU law raises issues of intrinsic theoretical interest, and considerable practical importance. No linguistic expertise is necessary, since EU legislation and case law are published in all official EU languages, including English.

 The Oxford course deals with: (i) the institutions of the EU, including the jurisdiction of the Court of Justice and General Court; (ii) the essential features of the EU law, and its incorporation into national law; (iii) the principle of free movement of persons and services within the EU; and (iv) the rules governing the free movement of goods within the EU. Study of the institutions entails consideration of the majority voting rules used by the Council in making EU legislation, and examination of the roles of the Commission and European Parliament in decision-making. Emphasis is placed on the scope of the law-making competence of the institutions, in particular as regards the internal market, and on the principle of subsidiarity, which is intended to act as a brake on the exercise of such competence. Most of the course, however, is concerned with the nature and operation of rules of EU law rather than with institutional matters.

 The ‘general part’ of the course covers such matters as the aims and policies of the European Union, the sources and supremacy of EU law, its direct effect before national courts and its impact on domestic legal rules, procedures and remedies, including the principle of State Liability for breach of EU Law. The court of final recourse in matters of EU law is the Court of Justice of the European Union. It has jurisdiction, e.g., to give preliminary rulings on references from national courts (references are an increasingly common occurrence in the U.K.), and to review the legality of EU legislation. Such matters receive detailed treatment in the course.

 The free movement of persons aspect of the course presents a combination of social and commercial law. The rights of EU employed and self-employed persons to free movement and non-discrimination graphically illustrate the significance of the EU legal system for such persons, while at the same time being of considerable significance to commercial undertakings and their advisors. General principles applicable to mutual recognition of qualifications are covered, as are the Directives on establishment and service provision by lawyers. All nationals of Member States are also “EU Citizens” and this status is of increasing importance as regards rights of free movement, residence and equality. The syllabus also includes study of EU rules on the free movement of goods. These have been given wide-ranging effect by the European Court and have given rise to considerable litigation in English courts, which have made many references to the European Court.

 The subject is taught in tutorials arranged by your college tutor.

 

Diploma in Legal Studies

European Union Law

The law of the European Union is based largely on the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty on the functioning of the European Union, and legislation made under the Treaties by the Council, the Parliament, and the Commission. The case law of the European Courts is of considerable importance and looms large in the study of EU law. EU law takes immediate effect in English Law, and is enforceable by English courts. EU law raises issues of intrinsic theoretical interest, and considerable practical importance. No linguistic expertise is necessary, since EU legislation and case law are published in all official EU languages, including English.

 The Oxford course deals with: (i) the institutions of the EU, including the jurisdiction of the Court of Justice and General Court; (ii) the essential features of the EU law, and its incorporation into national law; (iii) the principle of free movement of persons and services within the EU; and (iv) the rules governing the free movement of goods within the EU. Study of the institutions entails consideration of the majority voting rules used by the Council in making EU legislation, and examination of the roles of the Commission and European Parliament in decision-making. Emphasis is placed on the scope of the law-making competence of the institutions, in particular as regards the internal market, and on the principle of subsidiarity, which is intended to act as a brake on the exercise of such competence. Most of the course, however, is concerned with the nature and operation of rules of EU law rather than with institutional matters.

 The ‘general part’ of the course covers such matters as the aims and policies of the European Union, the sources and supremacy of EU law, its direct effect before national courts and its impact on domestic legal rules, procedures and remedies, including the principle of State Liability for breach of EU Law. The court of final recourse in matters of EU law is the Court of Justice of the European Union. It has jurisdiction, e.g., to give preliminary rulings on references from national courts (references are an increasingly common occurrence in the U.K.), and to review the legality of EU legislation. Such matters receive detailed treatment in the course.

 The free movement of persons aspect of the course presents a combination of social and commercial law. The rights of EU employed and self-employed persons to free movement and non-discrimination graphically illustrate the significance of the EU legal system for such persons, while at the same time being of considerable significance to commercial undertakings and their advisors. General principles applicable to mutual recognition of qualifications are covered, as are the Directives on establishment and service provision by lawyers. All nationals of Member States are also “EU Citizens” and this status is of increasing importance as regards rights of free movement, residence and equality. The syllabus also includes study of EU rules on the free movement of goods. These have been given wide-ranging effect by the European Court and have given rise to considerable litigation in English courts, which have made many references to the European Court.

 The subject is taught in tutorials arranged by your college tutor.

 

Postgraduate

BCL

Our taught postgraduate programme, designed to serve outstanding law students from common-law backgrounds

Constitutional Principles of the EU (not offered in 2014-15)

The purpose of this course is to provide an advanced understanding of the constitutional questions of the EU. We pose the general question whether the law of the European Union can make sense as a coherent order of principles. The subject matter is EU Law as it stands today, in light of the case law of the European Court of Justice and general principles at can be borrowed form domestic constitutional theory or public international law. The readings will constitute mostly of cases of the ECJ and opinions of the Advocate General, combined with some cases from the United Kingdom and suitable readings in law and jurisprudence. Topics will include the nature of the EU as a constitutional state in the making or a sui generis international organisation; the ECJ doctrine of the ‘autonomy’ of EU law; the principle of direct effect; the principle of supremacy; non-discrimination; citizenship; human rights; remedies and procedural autonomy. We shall discuss the diverse approaches in the works of scholars such as Lenaerts, Von Bogdandy, Kumm, Habermas, Weiler, MacCormick, Wyatt, Weatherill, Craig, Hartley, Kirchoff and others.

European Private Law: Tort

European Private Law: Tort is concerned with the comparative study of tort/delict within a European framework. The so-called Europeanisation of private law has two dimensions. One concerns the implications of existing legislation and case-law emanating from the organs of the EU for national private laws (eg product liability (Dir 85/374), environmental liability (Dir 2004/35), liability of the Member States and the non-contractual liability of the European Union). The other is of a scholarly nature and relates to various academic proposals for common European rules and principles in the area of private law based on comparative research: the European Group on Tort Law and the Study Group on a European Civil Code have both independently from another introduced proposals for restatements of European tort law.

 

MJur

Our taught postgraduate programme, designed to serve outstanding law students from civil law backgrounds.

Constitutional Principles of the EU (not offered in 2014-15)

The purpose of this course is to provide an advanced understanding of the constitutional questions of the EU. We pose the general question whether the law of the European Union can make sense as a coherent order of principles. The subject matter is EU Law as it stands today, in light of the case law of the European Court of Justice and general principles at can be borrowed form domestic constitutional theory or public international law. The readings will constitute mostly of cases of the ECJ and opinions of the Advocate General, combined with some cases from the United Kingdom and suitable readings in law and jurisprudence. Topics will include the nature of the EU as a constitutional state in the making or a sui generis international organisation; the ECJ doctrine of the ‘autonomy’ of EU law; the principle of direct effect; the principle of supremacy; non-discrimination; citizenship; human rights; remedies and procedural autonomy. We shall discuss the diverse approaches in the works of scholars such as Lenaerts, Von Bogdandy, Kumm, Habermas, Weiler, MacCormick, Wyatt, Weatherill, Craig, Hartley, Kirchoff and others.

European Private Law: Tort

European Private Law: Tort is concerned with the comparative study of tort/delict within a European framework. The so-called Europeanisation of private law has two dimensions. One concerns the implications of existing legislation and case-law emanating from the organs of the EU for national private laws (eg product liability (Dir 85/374), environmental liability (Dir 2004/35), liability of the Member States and the non-contractual liability of the European Union). The other is of a scholarly nature and relates to various academic proposals for common European rules and principles in the area of private law based on comparative research: the European Group on Tort Law and the Study Group on a European Civil Code have both independently from another introduced proposals for restatements of European tort law.

 


People

European Union Law teaching is organized by a Subject Group convened by:

Angus Johnston: Professor of Law

in conjunction with:

Nicholas Bamforth: CUF in Law
Nicholas Barber: Associate Professor of Constitutional Law
Iris Benöhr: British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow
Michal Bobek: Research Fellow
Hugh Collins: Vinerian Professor
Cathryn Costello: Andrew W. Mellon University Lectureship in International Human Rights and Refugee Law
Paul Craig: Professor of English Law
Anne Davies: Professor of Law and Public Policy
Eric Descheemaeker: Research Fellow, Institute of European and Comparative Law
Julie Dickson: Fellow and Senior Law Tutor, Somerville College & Associate Professor of Law, Faculty of Law.
Sionaidh Douglas-Scott: Professor of European and Human Rights Law
Pavlos Eleftheriadis: Associate Professor of Law
Liz Fisher: Professor of Environmental Law
Barbara Havelkova:
Rodrigo Momberg Uribe: Career Development Fellow in Comparative Law
Justine Pila: University Lecturer in Intellectual Property Law
Jeremias Prassl: Associate Professor of Law
Eveline Ramaekers: Career Development Fellow at Wadham College
Philippe van Parijs: Visiting Professor
Josephine Van Zeben: Fellow and Tutor in EU and Public Law
Andreas von Goldbeck: DAAD Lecturer in German and European Union Law
Konstanze Von Papp: Erich Brost Career Development Fellow in German and European Union Law
Stephen Weatherill: Jacques Delors Professor of European Law
Anzhela Yevgenyeva: Research Fellow
Alison Young: Associate Professor of Law

assisted by:

Basil Salman: DPhil Law student

Also working in this field, but not involved in its teaching programme:

Simon Whittaker: Professor of European Comparative Law
Derrick Wyatt: Emeritus Professor of Law

Graduate students working in this field:

Mikolaj Barczentewicz: MPhil Law student
Nicolas Kyriakides: DPhil Law student
Dimitrios Kyriazis: DPhil Law student
Menelaos Markakis: DPhil Law student
Dimitrios Sarmas: MPhil Law student
Vilija Velyvyte: DPhil Law student
Petra Weingerl: DPhil Law student

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