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: 15 credits (6 ECTS)
Module Convenor:
Professor Piet Eeckhout
Intercollegiate teaching: No
Teaching Method: 10 x two-hour lectures
Who may enrol: LLM students, SIL students, Other UCL Masters students
Prerequisites: None
Barred module combinations: None
Core module for specialism: European Union Law, International Law
Practice Assessment: to be confirmed
Assessment method for Masters students: two-hour unseen written examination
Assessment method for SIL students: two-hour unseen written examination
Module Overview

Module summary

The EU's international role continues to grow and to become more diverse. This module focuses on the core legal rules and principles governing the conduct of the EU's international relations - in Eurospeak the EU's "external action". It studies what are in effect important constitutional chapters in EU law, primarily the EU's external competences and the interaction between international law and EU law. Abstract as those subjects may sound, they are part of the EU's everyday international life, and determine the outcome of concrete issues. Examples are what kind of treaties the EU may conclude; which international organizations it may become a member of; whether it is possible to challenge its airline emissions policy on the basis of international conventions such as the Chicago Convention; or whether a person in Saudi Arabia suspected of supporting Al Qaeda may rely on EU human rights law in the face of a UN Security Council Resolution requiring all his assets to be frozen. The module reviews this fast-evolving area of EU law, focusing both on general concepts and specific/recent developments.

Module syllabus

1. Introduction
2. Competence in trade policy matters
3. Implied powers
4. Mixed agreements and membership of international organizations
5. Mixity and duty of cooperation: case-studies
6. Common Foreign and Security Policy – Unified external action after Lisbon?
7. Legal Effects of International Agreements - Overview
8. Case Studies: UNCLOS and air transport
9-10. Case study: UN Security Council Resolutions

Recommended materials

There are two leading texts on EU external relations law. We will be using:
P Eeckhout, EU External Relations Law (2nd ed, Oxford University Press, 2011)

Students are also referred to P Koutrakos, EU International Relations Law (Hart Publishing 2006)

Further general texts include:

M Cremona and B de Witte (eds), EU Foreign Relations Law – Constitutional Fundamentals (Hart, 2008)
M Cremona (ed), Developments in EU External Relations Law (OUP 2008)
A Dashwood and M Maresceau (eds), Law and Practice of EU External Relations (CUP 2008)
G De Baere, Constitutional Principles of EU External Relations (OUP 2008)
R Holdgaard, External Relations Law of the European Community (Wolters Kluwer 2008)

You will need to refer to the EU Treaties and EU legislation (e.g. Foster, Blackstone EU Treaties and Legislation 2012-2013, OUP, 2012) and to the case-law of the ECJ and GC (see http://curia.europa.eu/).

You find further reading on EU external relations law in EU law journals, in particular:

European Foreign Affairs Review
Common Market Law Review
Yearbook of European Law
European Law Review
Journal of European Law
European Journal of International Law

Preliminary reading

Seminar hand-outs and other material will be provided electronically via Moodle (virtual learning environment) at the start of the academic year. Moodle cannot be accessed until enrolment in September.

Other information: N/A
Prizes for this module: There are currently no prizes available for this module.


The application process for the 2015-16 academic session is now open.

Please note, for the 2015-16 intake, we are not accepting the TOEFL test. If you have an English condition to meet, you must take one of the alternative tests listed here instead.