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Constitutional and institutional law of the European Union


This course aims to provide you with advanced knowledge of the constitutional framework of the European Union. You will enjoy studying the Constitutional and Institutional Law of the EU if you like politics, if you’re a pragmatist, if you’re interested in law beyond stereotypical classifications. The study of the EU constitutional framework is more topical than ever before, it is at the forefront of the most intractable problems of our times: the Eurozone crisis, the refugee crisis, climate change, Brexit. These issues are a challenge to modern economies and societies. This course explores this very dynamic field in depth.

Module A: The European Union institutional outline


  • The EC/EU distinction
  • Institutions: Council, Parliament, Commission, Court (ECJ and CFI)
  • The ‘Democratic Deficit’ debate
  • Subsidiarity
  • The European Constitution and its ratification

Module B: Sources of European Union law


  • Treaties
  • Secondary legislation: Regulations, Directives
  • Law-making procedures
  • Direct effect
  • Supremacy
  • Agreements with third countries

Module C: Remedies and procedures in European Union law


  • Enforcement proceedings by the Commission
  • Preliminary references
  • Direct actions before the ECJ
  • Actions for failure to act
  • Member State liability for failure to comply with European Union law

Module D: General principles of European Union law


  • Human rights
  • Citizenship
  • Rule of law
  • Discrimination
  • Proportionality


Each module is assessed by a 45-minute unseen written exam.


The modules can be attempted in any order.

How to apply

How to apply

You can apply to study a module individually as a standalone unit or as part of a Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma or Master of Laws qualification. (In either scenario, they must be studied in order.)

These modules also contribute towards the following specialist pathways for Laws:

  • European Law
  • Public International Law
  • Public Law

Apply via Postgraduate Laws.

Study Material

Academic Co-ordinator

Dr Angelos Dimopoulos

Dr Angelos Dimopoulos

Dr Angelos Dimopolous is the Course Convenor for Constitutional and Institutional Law of the European Union and European Internal Market. Angelos joined Queen Mary in September 2013 as a Lecturer in Law. Prior to joining the department, he was Assistant Professor at Tilburg University and Research Coordinator of the Tilburg Law and Economics Centre (TILEC). Dr Dimopolous obtained his PhD in Law at the European University Institute in 2010. During his doctoral studies he conducted research as a visiting scholar at Columbia Law School and Lauterpacht Centre for International Law (Cambridge) and taught EU law at the University of Utrecht. He holds degrees from the Universities of Cambridge (LLM), Hannover (MLE) and Thessaloniki (LLB) and he has qualified and practised as an attorney-at-law in Greece.