Jean-Yves Gilg

Editor, Solicitors Journal

EU law courses preserved for foreseeable future

EU law courses preserved for foreseeable future


Legal education providers and lecturers await developments of negotiated Brexit model

Legal education providers and lecturers await developments of negotiated Brexit model

EU law modules and courses will remain unaltered for now despite concerns from students following the UK's decision to leave the EU.

As the news broke that the British public had voted by a 51.9 per cent majority in favour of a Brexit, EU law students past and present took to social media to express their concerns over the legitimacy of their studies.

One law student posted on Twitter: 'Does leaving the EU mean you would no longer have to study EU law?' Another asked: How long will it take for EU law to stop being taught?' Meanwhile, a former EU law student questioned whether Brexit meant the EU law module would now be a history module.

Matthew J. Homewood, principal lecturer in European Union law at Nottingham Law School, said the importance of EU law in legal education and practice as a core or optional module would be preserved for the foreseeable future.

'With no reliable estimations on when the UK will cease to be a Member State, it is rather premature to talk about the 'scrapping' of the EU law module on undergraduate law degrees. Indeed, if the time comes that the UK does leave the EU, depending upon the Brexit model negotiated, EU law will continue to be an important area of legal knowledge in understanding the single market whilst competition law will inevitably have continuing relevance to legal practice.

'The outcome of the referendum on the status of EU law as one of the seven foundations of legal knowledge is at best, unclear. Unless and until the infamous article 50 TEU is triggered and negotiations begin and are ultimately concluded, the UK remains a Member State of the EU and as such, the relevance and importance of EU law to domestic law students continues.'

Jane Chappell, senior lecturer at the University of Law (ULaw), added: 'Some areas of EU law, such as competition law will still continue to be relevant. However the constitutional aspects will clearly need to be reviewed for both EU and Public law courses. ULaw, along with the rest of the legal community, are keeping a watching brief on fast moving developments.'

Students will have to wait a little longer to see whether their investment - academically and financially - was worth it.