The Autonomous EU Legal Order


The specificity and characteristics of the "new and autonomous EU legal order" (Van Gend & Loos) are the subject of study in this course. The most important procedures are analysed by way of case-studies (incl. direct and indirect access to the CJEU for individuals). Special attention is given to concepts such as primacy and direct effect, as well as to the protection of fundamental rights by the CJEU and interaction with the ECHR. The course includes a compulsory visit to the CJEU in Luxembourg.


The principal method of study consists of an analysis of the Treaty provisions and case law of the Court of Justice of the European Union and General Court.

The first part will deal with the specificity of the European legal order and the direct procedures before the Court of Justice and the General Court. The specific character of the European legal order will be further clarified through a simulation game and case-studies.

Another part of the course will focus more specifically on the preliminary ruling procedure and the issues of primacy and direct effect, rights of individuals and State liability. Students will have to prepare readings in advance of class discussions to acquire the necessary legal tools and skills to master new developments in EU law.

Key words: 
Autonomy of the EU legal order, primacy and direct effect, fundamental rights, legal certainty, judicial protection, procedures, access to the European Court of Justice and General Court, composition and functioning of the ECJ General Court, concept of national court, preliminary procedure
Faculty members: