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 case law of the Court of Justice of the EU, the nature of fundamental rights as a component of the “rule of law” within the EU, the status of the ECHR in the EU legal order and the perspective of EU accession, and the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. Emphasis is also put on judicial protection of fundamental rights in the EU and the ‘clash’ between fundamental rights and fundamental economic freedoms.

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.


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 (60%)
  • One short paper assignment (40%)