1 Studying EU law
EU law traditionally is one of the core subjects for a qualifying law degree in England & Wales. It filters through to the ‘domestic’ law of member states as well as some states that have bilateral Treaties with the EU, such as Norway, which are bound to follow large chunks of EU law. Any understanding of domestic law in a member state is incomplete without a good grounding in the principles and content of EU law, which is the reasoning behind EU law forming an integral part of domestic legal study.
Activity 1 Why study EU law?
Watch the two videos below: the first video features Professor Paul Craig, one of the authors of a renowned EU law textbook, and the second video is from the EU Commission. You need to only watch the first 03:59 minutes of the video recording by Professor Craig. You are welcome to listen further but, when doing so, bear in mind some of these points are now dated.
Transcript: Why is it so important to study EU law?
Professor Paul Craig
St John's College, Oxford
Studying EU Law
Why is it so important to study EU Law?
What are the key issues they will come across?
What are the current topics being discussed?
What are the major changes we are likely to see in EU Law over the coming 3 years?
Transcript: The European Commission explained – functioning and tasks
Funtioning and tasks of the European Commission
Paul Craig’s thesis is that much of our national or domestic law is either fertilised by or contains directly applicable EU law. You will return to considering the broad scope and influence of EU law when considering the aims of the EU in Section 4 and the extent of competences in Section 5 of this course.
The second video clip is a more topical explanation for studying EU law provided by the EU Commission and attempts to explain the impact of EU laws on our routine daily lives.
Famously, suggesting a whiff of apprehension, Lord Denning described the spread of EU law into national law as an incoming tide flowing up the UK legal system, and incontrovertibly having a profound impact on the sovereignty of Westminster: HP Bulmer Ltd v J Bollinger SA (No 2)  Ch 401 at 418–19. You will be looking at the meaning of this issue of sovereignty in relation to supremacy of laws in Section 10.