Optional Module (5 ECTS)


This module aims to examine major issues in the field of constitutional liberties, including ways liberties operate between private parties. Additionally, we will explore the role of the judiciary in the field, and we will seek common understandings and divergences across Europe and the United States about the role of the state, the function of the economy, and personal freedom. Particular emphasis will be attached to the traditions that have shaped European constitutionalism and to its current multi-level structure. 


Upon completion of the course, the students will be able to

  • understand and use main concepts of constitutional law
  • analyze and critically assess a judicial opinion in the field of constitutional liberty
  • understand the role of the comparative approach
  • utilize relevant theoretical concepts and insights in their own enquiries 


The course will focus on analyzing cases with a view to assess both the theoretical underpinnings and the practical ways of implementing constitutional liberties, especially in cases of tension. We will discuss judicial opinions from various European jurisdictions, and from the United States. The case law of the ECHR and the CJEU will be particularly addressed.

Among the cases we are expected to cover are (indicatively):

BVerfGE 123, 267, 30.6.2009 (Lissabon)

BVergG, 2 BvR 859/15, 5.5.2020 (Public Sector Purchase Program)

BVerfG, 1 BvR 471/10, 1 BvR 1181/10, 27.1.2015 (headscarf)

Achbita v G4S Secure Solutions, C-157/15, 14.3.2017(headscarf and neutral policies)

Koufaki and Adedy v Greece, ECHR, 7.5.2013 (Greek economic crisis)

Alpha Doryforiki Tileorasi Anonymi Etairia v Greece, 22.2.2018 (hidden cameras)

Helmut Marschall v Land Nordrhein-Westfalen, C-409/95, 11.11.1997 (affirmative action)

  1. v Hodges, 576 U.S. __ 2015 (gay marriage)
  2. v Ashers Baking Company, [2018] UKSC 49 (refusal to supply a cake iced with a message about gay marriage)
  3. v Arlene’s Flowers, Inc., 441 P.3d 1203 (Wash. 2019) (provision of services for gay marriages)

    Academic Requirements

    Participants are expected to have basic previous knowledge of constitutional Law.

    Teaching method

    The course will run under seminar format, which requires a high degree of student activity. Materials will be available in electronic form. Students are expected to have studied each session’s material before class and to actively participate during class.


    The course is taught by Professor Spyros Vlachopoulos, Assistant Professor Nicholas Papaspyrou, and Assistant Professor Vassiliki Christou.

    Assessment and testing

    • Written exam, open book, 2 hours (75%)
    • Mid-term essay assignment (25%)