Comparative Public Law

Judicial protection against unlawful (and sometimes lawful) legislative and administrative acts or rules is of concern to individuals and companies in a variety of contexts. This course covers the central aspects of procedural and substantive judicial review under the public law of England, France and the European Union. The course will consider these issues against the constitutional framework which exists in the three systems. Throughout the course the emphasis will be on making comparisons between the different systems. To facilitate this each of the topics studied will be analysed within the same week's work.

The principal course objective is to enable students to acquire knowledge and understanding of the law in this area, and to be able to discuss at an advanced level elements of public law as they are evolving in England, France, and in the EU.

It is possible to undertake the course exclusively on the basis of English language materials, but the ability to read French is an advantage, since some of the secondary sources on French law are only available in the French language. There are, however, translations of the French case law used in the course.

Teaching is primarily through lectures and seminars. Tutorials will be available in Hilary and Trinity term. The structure of the course is as follows. In Michaelmas term and the first half of Hilary Term there will be lectures which deal with the central aspects of procedural and substantive review in the systems studied. The lectures are designed to lay the foundations for seminar discussion that will take place in the second half of Hilary term, and the first two weeks of Trinity term. The lectures and seminars will cover the following topics: the constitutional foundations of the three systems; procedural review; review for jurisdictional error; improper purposes; irrationality; proportionality; legitimate expectations; equality; and fundamental rights; damages actions, including damages for losses caused by lawful governmental action; standing and remedies.

Learning outcomes: an understanding of public law of England, France, and the EU within the context of their respective constitutions and a capacity to make comparisons between aspects of/developments in the law within each of these entities.