UCL Faculty of Laws


The EU and its Sovereign Debt States: Challenges for EU Law

04 May 2017, 6:00 pm–7:00 pm


Event Information

Open to



Current Legal Problems


UCL Gustave Tuck Lecture Theatre, Wilkins Building, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT

Speaker: Professor Claire Kilpatrick (European University Institute)
Chair: Lord Justice Elias (Court of Appeal)
Admission: Free
Accreditation: 1 learning hour for Bar Standards Board training records
Series: Current Legal Problems 2016-17

About the lecture

In recent years EU sovereign debt programmes have led to a legally challenging range of unusual new sources with substantial impacts on social and other rights in Member States. Here I explore the sources as presenting features of liminal legality by which I mean their occupying unresolved spaces between law and non-law and between EU and non-EU law. I examine the strategic difficulties such sources present for those bringing fundamental rights challenges and the extent to which the Court of Justice and other EU institutions have taken steps to resolve this issue.

Lecture themes and learning outcomes

  • Explore a range of complex new sources bridging EU and international law with significant effects in Member States 
  • Investigate the interaction between these sources and a range of EU judicial procedures used to challenge them (annulment actions, actions for damages, preliminary references)
  • Trace EU institutional responses, judicial and political, to the problems created by these sources

About the speaker

Claire Kilpatrick is Professor of International European and Social Law at the European University Institute, Florence and Co-Director of the Academy of European Law. Before coming to the EUI in 2011 she worked at LSE and before that at Cambridge University. Her interests lie mainly in the law and policy construction of Social Europe, especially the EU’s roles. Her interests in free movement and Social Europe stem particularly from new developments sparked by enlargement and challenges posed by Brexit. Another focus of her recent work has focused on EMU and Social Europe with a particular focus on sovereign debt loan arrangements and legal challenges to those arrangements from those within debtor EU states. She is a member of the Editorial Boards of the Industrial Law Journal and the International Journal of Comparative Labour Law and Industrial Relations and of the Advisory Boards of the European Journal of Legal Studies and the European Law Journal.

About Current Legal Problems

The Current Legal Problems annual lecture series was established over sixty years ago. The lectures are public, delivered on a weekly basis and chaired by members of the judiciary.

The Current Legal Problems (CLP) annual volume is published on behalf of UCL Laws by Oxford University Press, and features scholarly articles that offer a critical analysis of important current legal issues.

It covers all areas of legal sponsorship and features a wide range of methodological approaches to law. With its emphasis on contemporary developments, CLP is a major point of reference for legal scholarship.

Find out more about CLP on the Oxford University Press website