European Union Law: A Very Short Introduction [#524]
European Union Law: A Very Short Introduction [#524]


  • Offers an overview of European Union law, showing why it is the most ambitious attempt yet made to get historically, economically and legally diverse nation states to work together for the common good
  • Explains the role of the European Court of Justice and other European Union courts, and how they are involved in the application of European Union law
  • Discusses the range of issues that the European Union has the power to regulate, such as the free movement of goods and people
  • Considers the distinction between the European Union's substantive law, which concerns the content of the rules put in place to achieve its policy objectives, and the EU's constitutional and administrative law, which concerns the mechanisms by which those rules are adopted, applied and enforced
  • Contemplates how European Union law might develop in the future in the face of pressures to reform

The European Union is rarely out of the news and, as it deals with the consequences of the Brexit vote and struggles to emerge from the eurozone crisis, it faces difficult questions about its future. In this debate, the law has a central role to play, whether the issue be the governance of the eurozone, the internal market, 'clawing back powers from Europe' or reducing so-called 'Brussels red tape'.

In this Very Short Introduction Anthony Arnull looks at the laws and legal system of the European Union, including EU courts, and discusses the range of issues that the European Union has been given the power to regulate, such as the free movement of goods and people. He considers why an organisation based on international treaties has proved capable of having far-reaching effects on both its Member States and on countries that lie beyond its borders, and discusses how its law and legal system have proved remarkably effective in ensuring that Member States respect the commitments they made when they signed the Treaties. Answering some of the key questions surrounding EU law, such as what exactly it is about, and how it has become part of the legal DNA of its Member States so much more effectively than other treaty-based regimes, Arnull considers the future for the European Union.


1: What is EU law about?
2: The Primary Law of the EU
3: The Secondary Law of the EU
4: Who Makes Secondary Law?
5: The Effect of EU Law
6: The EU Courts
7: Enforcing EU Law
8: The Response of National Courts to EU Law
9: The Future of EU law
Further Reading


Anthony Arnull, Barber Professor of Jurisprudence and Director of Education, College of Arts & Law, Birmingham Law School
Anthony Arnull holds the Barber Chair of Jurisprudence at the University of Birmingham. He has specialised in the law of the European Union for over 30 years and worked at the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg from 1989-92. His publications include The European Union and its Court of Justice (OUP, 2nd ed, 2006), Continuity and Change in EU Law: Essays in Honour of Sir Francis Jacobs (ed, with Piet Eeckhout and Takis Tridimas) (OUP, 2008), and The Oxford Handbook of European Union Law, (OUP, 2015), with Damian Chalmers. He has given evidence to a number of UK Parliamentary Select Committees and acted as Specialist Adviser to the House of Lords EU Committee. In 2013-14, he served as an output assessor on the Law Sub-Panel for the 2014 Research Assessment Exercise (REF).

"This incisive analysis will prove a boon for commentators (and perhaps even negotiators) on both sides of the Channel" - Times Higher Education

"It is an amazing achievement to write on this subject such a concise, interesting and balanced book." - Law Society Gazette

"Whatever you feel about the EU and Brexit, this straightforward and clear introduction to the subject is written in a very balanced way. There is a section on 'competence creep', which sounds chilling." - The Law Society 'Books of the Year 2017'

"Many have, belatedly, come to realise the importance of EU law. They could wish for no better introduction to it than this wonderful little book." - Anand Menon, King's College London, Director of The UK in a Changing Europe


ISBN : 9780198749981

Anthony Arnull
176 ページ
111 x 174 mm
Very Short Introductions





European Union Law: A Very Short Introduction [#524]

European Union Law: A Very Short Introduction [#524]

European Union Law: A Very Short Introduction [#524]