LLM Programme

The taught modules offered on the LLM programme vary from year to year. Please check the full list of taught modules list for details of modules running in specific academic years. We make every effort to ensure that every module will be offered, but modules are subject to change and cancellation. You are therefore advised to check this site regularly for further updates throughout the year preceding entry to the LLM programme.

Credit value: 30 credits (12 ECTS)
Module Convenor:
Prof Richard Rawlings
Other Teachers:
Professor Carol Harlow, the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)
Intercollegiate teaching: Yes, this module is jointly taught with the London School of Economics (LSE)

Teaching Method: 20 x two-hour seminars

The module starts on Monday 7 October with a full 2 hour seminar and will run throughout term 1, including reading week. UCL students are not expected to attend class during reading week.
In term 2, teaching starts on Monday 13 January and will run throughout term 2, including reading week. UCL students are not expected to attend class during reading week.

Who may enrol: LLM students, other UCL Masters students
Prerequisites: None
Barred module combinations: None
Core module for specialism: European Union Law; Public Law
Practice Assessment: to be confirmed
Assessment method for LLM students: 3-hour and 15 minutes unseen written examination
Module Overview

Module summary

The course is concerned with the development of a system of European Union administrative law. It focuses on the development of European governance structures, the design of regulatory frameworks and on institutions for control of the administration; on principles of, and structures and processes for, securing accountability; on the role and contribution of courts (including in the field of human rights) and the European Ombudsman. Case studies will be used to illustrate the place of law in the administrative process.
While the course draws on administrative law as practised in the Member States, and also in the USA, direct comparison is not anticipated.

Module syllabus

EU Administrative Law is a rapidly developing subject and the course content changes from year to year to reflect this. The following is a provisional outline:

A. Law and Administration in the European Union

  • Introductory. European administrative law: purpose and ambit. The comparative law approach.
  • European Administration. The structure of European administrations. Direct, indirect and cooperative administration; supervision and enforcement. The development of networks of governance and of European agencies. Concepts of administration. Public service ethos. 'New Public Management'.
  • General principles of good administration

B. Administrative Functions and Procedures

  • Law making. Different types of norms or the hierarchy of rules. 'Hard' and 'soft' law.
  • Administrative procedures: the role and place of codification. Rule making procedures: the Council and Parliament, Commission and comitology. Citizen access to rule making procedures.
  • Case studies: competition procedures, asylum procedures.
  • Regulation in action: the rise of the European agencies. Case studies of individual agencies.
  • Enforcement, or policing 'the level playing field': the role of the Commission.

C. Courts and the Administrative Process: Human Rights

  • The multiple functions of the ECJ. Access to court and interest representation.
  • General principles of administrative law. Fair procedure. Reasoned decisions. The principles of review.
  • Judicial remedies and effectiveness. State and Community liability.
  • Human rights and the EU Charter. Case study of terrorist asset-freezing.

D. Accountability

  • The diverse meanings of accountability; the contribution of national systems.
  • Transparency and access to information.
  • Political accountability and redress of grievance. The European Parliament: committees and enquiries.
  • Complaint handling and investigatorial technique: the European Ombudsman.

Recommended materials

Paul Craig, EU Administrative Law (Oxford University Press) 2006.
A full weekly seminar list of appropriate readings and other course information will be provided on Moodle (virtual learning environment).

Preliminary reading

Those needing an introduction to, or refresher on, the history and political development of the EU, might usefully read parts 1 and 2 of:
Neil Nugent, The Government and Politics of the European Union (Palgrave Macmillan) 7th ed, 2010.

Other information:

Each seminar handout provides a detailed set of primary and secondary sources for the topic. Materials marked ** should always be read by way of preparation (they represent the minimum requirement for each seminar).

This course thrives on student participation; ample opportunities will be provided for student presentations.

Prizes for this module: There are currently no prizes available for this module.


The application process for the 2014-15 academic session, for entry in September 2014, is now open.

Please refer to the How to apply section for information on the application process.