91141 - Eu Constitutional Law

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

The course aims to analyse the European decision making process and the main institutional elements of the process of European integration, particularly with regard to the legal implications arising from it. At the end of the course, students will be able to understand: the Institutional system, decision-making process, judicial control of EU Court of Justice; the Normative system: analysis of EU acts and assessment of their implementation and interpretation at EU and national level; EU citizenship and fundamental rights. At the end of the course students have developed the ability to analyse the main implications of the EU institutional structure and to determine the overall effects of the law into the municipal legal orders of the Member States, and to illustrate the main trends of the interplay between the Union and its Member States (both internally and on the international scene).

Course contents

The course is organized with a part of lectures taught online on MS TEAMS (20 hours) and another taught in presence (20 hours). The number of students allowed in class is determined on the basis of class capacity and by the health and safety provisions that deal with the pandemic emergency. In case more students want to attend classes in presence than permitted by the rules, a system of shifts will be organized so to allow students to participate. Regardless of the health-related conditions and the specific organization of the course, students will be able to follow the lessons of the entire course remotely on MS TEAMS.

The course is divided in two parts.

The first part of the course aims at clarifying the main institutional elements of the European Union (EU) legal order. It analyses: the origin and the evolution of the European integration process; the allocation of competences between EU and Member States (MSs); the institutions of the Union and their acts; the judicial system of the EU; the external action of the Union.

The second part of the course will focus on the most topical principles of the EU legal order (e.g.: the principle of equality of MSs, the principle of loyal cooperation, the primacy of the EU law over municipal law; the principle of protection of fundamental rights), highlighting their role in shaping the constitutional identity of the Union.

Both parts will take into consideration major developments emerging from the reaction of the Union and its Member States to the COVID-19 pandemic.


R. Schutze, European Constitutional Law - Second Edition (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015) 552 pp.


A. Rosas, L. Armati, EU Constitutional Law - An Introduction (Oxford and Portland, Oregon: Hart, 2018) 368 pp.


Erasmus and Overseas students shall discuss the Exam's programme with Prof. Casolari.

Students taking the exam of Law of International Organizations are kindly requested to refer to:

I. Hurd, International Organizations. Politics, Law, Practice, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, IV ed., 2021

Teaching methods

The course will be highly interactive. Theoretical issues will be confronted with practical cases (in particular, EU Court of Justice's rulings) in order to allow the students to understand and verify how EU law is actually implemented and understood by major EU actors.

Assessment methods

The (attending) students' learning will be constantly verified through discussions and debates. The final exam will be oral (for attending and not attending students). The questions posed by the examining commission will regard the topics indicated in the Section “Course contents”.

The students’ knowledge is assessed through a discussion, to evaluate the actual achievement of the learning outcomes. The exam consists in an interview with the appointed commission on the topics included in the programme.

The assessment will take into account the knowledge of the relevant institutional framework, the ability to analyse doctrinal and jurisprudential opinions and, to single out connections between the relevant topics, to critical reasoning, as well as the clarity of presentation and critical thinking.

By way of example, the following criteria will be used to assess the final mark (that will be out of 30/30):

  • sufficient or barely sufficient knowledge on the programme, limited reasoning ability, some difficulties in using technical and legal language → 18-21/30;
  • fairly good knowledge of the programme, adequate critical reasoning ability, sound use of technical and legal language → 22-25/30;
  • comprehensive knowledge of the programme, notable reasoning ability, good command of technical and legal language → 26-29/30;
  • extensive knowledge of the programme, very good reasoning ability, and ability to fully master technical-legal language → 30-30L/30.

Teaching tools

Supplementary teaching tools (slides, documents, bibliographical references) for attending students will be made available through the online platform  Virtuale

Students which need compensatory tools for reasons of disability or Specific Learning Disabilities (SLD) should communicate to the teacher their needs so as to be directed to the dedicated person and arrange on the adoption of the most appropriate measures.

Links to further information


Office hours

See the website of Federico Casolari


Quality education Gender equality Peace, justice and strong institutions Partnerships for the goals

This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.