LAW5636 - EU external relations: Law and policy - 2017

6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

Postgraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Unit guides



  • Term 3 2017 (Day)


The unit will examine the European Union's external dimension and its competences in various policy fields. The first part of the unit will provide an overview of the development, law and politics of the EU as an international organisation. The second part will consider the EU's current role and reach in the international sphere, in particular its (international) legal personality of the Union, the division and nature of the Union's external competences, and its relationship in this sphere vis--vis its member states and third parties. The third part focuses on the EU's international law making competences in various policy fields, such as trade and investment, with a particular focus on Asia and Australia; and the Common Foreign and Security Policy. In its final part, the unit will critically assess some of the challenges for the future development of the EU's foreign relations law and policy.


On completion of this unit, students will

  1. Demonstrate knowledge and evaluation of the legal foundations of the EU's international relations and foreign policy making in a system of multi-level governance (member state, EU and international level)
  2. Describe and assess the development of the Union's external policy and treaty-making competences in selected fields, such as trade and investment or anti-terrorism
  3. Research, synthesise and interpret a) the case law of the CJEU; b) the practice of the EU institutions c) relevant academic literature and apply the results of the research to the specific issues under reflection
  4. Critically assess, and communicate both orally and in writing, developments and challenges of the EU's external relations law and policy-making in the current social, political and economic climate
  5. Reflect on their own capabilities and performance, and make use of feedback on their classroom performance to support personal and professional development.


Attendance requirement: Students who fail to attend at least 80% of the classes in this unit (ie who miss 3 or more classes) will receive a result of 0 N for the unit. Students who are unable to meet this requirement due to severe illness or other exceptional circumstances must make an application for in-semester special consideration with supporting documentation.

Class participation: 10%

Group presentation in class: 20%

Written submission (1500 words): 20%

Take Home Examination (3,750 words): 50%

Workload requirements

Students are required to attend 36 hours of lectures over the duration of this semi-intensive unit.

Chief examiner(s)


LAW7470/LAW5000 or LAW7212/LAW5080