General information

Course type AMUPIE
Module title European Constitutionalism And Fundamental Rights
Language English
Module lecturer dr Władysław Jóźwicki
Lecturer's email
Lecturer position adiunkt
Faculty Faculty of Law and Administration
Semester 2023/2024 (summer)
Duration 30
USOS code 10-ECFR-w-Erasm


Maonday 15:00-16:30; room 4.9 CIN (Collegium Iuridicum Novum, al. Niepodległości 53, 61-714 Poznań)

Module aim (aims)

The course aims at providing students with solid knowledge on the transformation of the European constitutional order especially when it comes to the EU constitutionalism. If focuses on the issue of fundamental rights as one of the most important but at the same time very delicate dimension of the European public order. The course analyses complicated relations between the EU, its Member States and the system of European Convention of Human Rights. It attempts at exploring the current debate on the European fundamental rights protection regime as a field of advancing convergence but also to some extent a field divergence in fundamental rights protection standards and mechanisms as well as tries to put it into theoretical frames spread between doctrines of constitutional pluralism and constitutional monism/patriotism. It also attempts at developing students’ skills in reading and analysing legal texts and case law as well as giving them a chance to gain some practical skills in legal argumentation and discussion during specially designed activities which will include: presentations, group discussions as well possibly an Oxford style debate or a moot court activity.

Pre-requisites in terms of knowledge, skills and social competences (where relevant)

Some background knowledge of basic concepts of EU law, Human Rights Law and Constitutional Law is advisable, although not necessary. Students should know and understand the main principles of EU law, Human Rights Law and Constitutional Law. They should also have at least basic skills in reading and understanding legal acts and case law.


Week 1: Human Rights Law – basic concepts and principles: universality of human rights, human dignity, the post-War positivization; principle of proportionality
Week 2: Council of Europe system and the European Convention of Human Rights
Week 3: ECHR as a “constitutional instrument of European public order”
Week 4: ECHR and its interpretation: between activism and self-restraint
Week 5: EU and CoE: “Twins separated at birth”
Week 6: EU – from economic community to fundamental rights based community
Week 7: EU Charter of Fundamental Rights – the European Bill of Rights?
Week 8: EU and its Member States in the field of fundamental rights: the third wave of the sovereignty dispute
Week 9: Constitutional identity and the EU Member States’ constitutional courts resistance against the CJEU and its ambitions in the field of fundamental rights
Week 10: EU constitutionalism: constitutional pluralism or constitutional monism/patriotism on the European level?
Week 11: The EU accession to the ECHR
Week 12: EU, EU law and its status under the ECHR
Week 13: European multilevel constitutionalism and triangular relations between the ECtHR, CJEU and domestic courts in the field of human rights
Week 14: Presentations/debate/moot court (or spread through each week class)
Week 15: Revisit and discussion of the key concepts introduced during the course: UE’s particular constitutionalism in the light of classical constitutionalism and its characteristics

Reading list

Basic readings: P. Craig, G. de Búrca, EU law: text, cases, and materials, OUP 2020; J. Habermas, Why Europe Needs a Constitution, New Left Review, vol. 11 (2001); J. Jaraczewski, W. Jóźwicki, Z. Kędzia, The EU’s engagement with the Council of Europe and the OSCE (in:) J. Wouters, M. Nowak, A-L. Chané, N. Hachez (eds.), The European Union and Human Rights: Law and Policy, OUP 2019; S. Peers, T. Hervey, J. Kenner, A. Ward, The EU Charter of Fundamental Rights A Commentary, OUP 2014;W. Schabas, The European Convention on Human Rights: A Commentary, OUP 2015; K. Tuori, European constitutionalism, CUP 2015; K. Nicolaidis, We, the Peoples of Europe..., Foreign Affairs, vol. 83, no: 6; J. H. H. Weiler, The Constitution of Europe: "Do the New Clothes Have an Emperor?" and Other Essays on European Integration, CUP 1999; JHHW (Editorial), Lautsi: Crucifix in the Classroom Redux, European Journal of International Law, vol. 21 no. 1 (2010); some additional reading and case law will be provided during the course