European Procedural Law

Teaching hours and credit allocation: 16 hours, 3 credits

This module aims at examining the influence of EU Law on procedural law, both civil and criminal. Apart from institutional considerations, various pieces of secondary Union legislation will be discussed. This module will analyze EU and international legal instruments harmonizing issues with regard jurisdiction in torts and in the field of contracts. This knowledge is absolutely necessary for a lawyer willing to deal with international commercial transactions. Moreover, students will have the opportunity to focus on criminal procedural issues which are becoming more and more important as the fight against crime had become Pan-European. The foundations of these Union activities are based on the area of freedom, security and justice (Title V of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union). Students will study, in detail, institutional, substantive and procedural aspects of judicial cooperation in civil matters and of judicial cooperation in criminal matters. Judicial cooperation in civil matters seeks to abolish barriers deriving from incompatibilities between the various legal and administrative systems, and thus facilitate access to justice. During classes, emphasis will be given on the principle of mutual recognition and enforcement of judgments and of decisions resulting from extrajudicial cases. Judicial cooperation in criminal matters is based on the principle of mutual recognition of judgments and judicial decisions by Member States. It involves the approximation of related national laws and the application of common minimum rules. Additionally, the enforcement and remedies in EU law, as well as the direct jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice will be discussed.

Learning outcomes

On completing the course students will be able to:

  • understand that individuals and businesses should not be prevented or discouraged from exercising their rights by the incompatibility or complexity of legal and administrative systems in the Member States
  • understand the European rules of private international law applying to civil and commercial matters
  • understand the issues that might arise in civil and commercial proceedings involving more than one state
  • understand that the aims of judicial cooperation in civil matters in this area are legal certainty and equal access to justice for all EU citizens
  • critically evaluate the system of judicial protection under EU law
  • be aware of the need for further harmonization of civil procedure on a European and global scale
  • examine if the European legislature fulfill the following objectives: easy identification of the competent jurisdiction, clear designation of the applicable law, availability of speedy and fair proceedings and effective enforcement procedures
  • Understand the significant evolution of judicial cooperation in criminal matters
  • Understand that criminal behaviours must be approached in the same way at EU level
  • Critically evaluate directives aiming at the approximation of the laws and regulations of the Member States in criminal matters
  • Be aware that the areas of particularly serious crime with a cross-border dimension are the following: terrorism, trafficking in human beings and sexual exploitation of women and children, illicit drug trafficking, illicit arms trafficking, money laundering, corruption, counterfeiting of means of payment, computer crime and organized crime.
  • Understand Eurojust’s mission
  • Read and understand the police cooperation of the EU.
  • Understand the functioning of the European arrest warrant and especially the practical issues arising from its use.


  • European small claims procedure
  • European order for payment procedure
  • European enforcement order for uncontested claims
  • Jurisdiction, recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters (“Brussels I”)
  • Jurisdiction, recognition and enforcement of judgments in matrimonial matters and matters of parental responsibility (“Brussels II”)
  • Insolvency proceedings
  • Alternative dispute resolution: mediation
  • Strengthening cooperation with Switzerland, Norway and Iceland: the Lugano Convention (2007)
  • Service of judicial and extrajudicial documents
  • Taking of evidence in civil and commercial matters
  • European Judicial Network in civil and commercial matters
  • The law applicable to contractual obligations – The Rome I Regulation
  • The law applicable to non-contractual obligations – The Rome II Regulation
  • Applicable law and jurisdiction in matrimonial matters
  • Eurojust
  • The right to interpretation and translation in criminal proceedings
  • Jurisdiction in criminal proceedings: prevention and settlement of conflicts
  • Mutual recognition of supervision measures
  • European evidence warrant (EEW)
  • Supervision of sentenced persons or persons on conditional release
  • Mutual recognition of custodial sentences and measures involving deprivation of liberty
  • Recognition and execution of confiscation orders
  • Mutual recognition of financial penalties
  • Execution of orders freezing property or evidence
  • European arrest warrant
  • Judicial Review and indirect challenge before national courts
  • Fines and penalty payments on Member States for breaches of EU law
  • the enforcement and remedies in EU law,
  • the direct jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice.