Optional Module (5 ECTS)


This module introduces the students to the mechanisms of fundamental rights protection in the European Union. Special emphasis is put on fundamental rights as a component of the “rule of law” as well as on the interaction between the EU system, on the one hand, and the national and international instruments for fundamental rights protection, on the other.


Upon completion of the course, the student will be able to:

  • understand the mechanisms of fundamental rights protection in the EU
  • understand the dynamics of the relationship between the EU and the ECHR
  • assess the role of the EU as a global actor in the field of fundamental rights protection
  • understand the relationship between fundamental rights and the EU internal market
  • apply such knowledge in order to handle and solve fundamental rights cases


Topics analyzed comprise the evolution of EU fundamental rights protection through the CJEU case law and the EU Charter on Fundamental Rights, as well as the content, the possible restrictions and the mechanisms of judicial protection of specific fundamental rights. Emphasis is put on recent developments concerning the role of fundamental rights as a component of the «rule of law» within the EU and the legal consequences thereof. Furthermore, the status of the European Convention on Human Rights in the EU legal order and the developments concerning EU accession are analyzed. Topics discussed also include the ‘clash’ between fundamental rights and EU economic freedoms, as well the protection of fundamental rights in case of targeted sanctions imposed on individuals following UN Resolutions or CFSP decisions.

Academic Requirements

Participants are required to have at least some basic previous knowledge of EU Law.

Teaching method

The course will run under both seminar and workshop format, which requires a high degree of student activity. Students are expected to write a paper and make a presentation based on the paper (formative assessment). Legal material (EU Treaty provisions, Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU, ECHR) as well as CJEU case law will be made available and discussed thoroughly during the courses. The course will be supported by teaching material. Specialized literature and websites will also be communicated to the students. Students will receive valuable input from eminent scholars and EU law practitioners, who will be invited to give lectures on specific issues.


The course is taught by Associate Professor Revekka-Emmanouela Papadopoulou.

Assessment and testing

  • Written exam, closed book (2 essay questions or comment on a CJEU case) - 2 hours (70%)
  • One short paper assignment (30%)