Kies de Nederlandse taal
Course module: 600250-M-6
Migration and Rule of Law
Course info
Course module600250-M-6
Credits (ECTS)6
CategoryMA (Master)
Course typeCourse
Language of instructionEnglish
Offered byTilburg University; Tilburg Law School; TLS: Europ. and International Public Law; European and International Public Law;
Is part of
M Law
M International and European Law
prof. dr. E.M.H. Hirsch Ballin
Other course modules lecturer
Dr C. Raucea
Other course modules lecturer
Academic year2019
Starting block
SM 1
Course mode
Registration openfrom 14/08/2019 up to and including 02/08/2020
Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able:
LG 1:  To discuss core concepts in EU migration Law (such as external borders, refugee status, refugee rights, right to asylum, subsidiary protection, non-refoulement, exclusion clauses, immigration detention) by building upon the prescribed study material for this course.
LG 2: To outline and analyse norms included in EU primary and secondary legislation relating to 4 main areas of migration policies (Border control / International Protection / Regular migration/ Irregular migration).
LG 3: To discuss and apprise, on the basis of legal arguments, the relationship between the EU law norms mentioned above and norms of International Law.
LG 4: To explain, compare, and apprise on the basis of legal arguments the development of case law by the CJEU (and by the ECtHR) in 4 main areas of migration policies (Border control / International Protection / Regular migration / Irregular migration).
LG 5: To apply EU legislation and case law to practical scenarios in 4 main areas of migration policies (Border control / International Protection / Regular migration/ Irregular migration).
LG 6: To provide an account and critically evaluate the EU system of judicial protection of individual rights in 4 main areas of migration policies (Border control / International Protection / Regular migration / Irregular migration).

The aim of this course is to provide students with a coherent overview of the main EU legislative instruments, and of the most significant and recent European case law, in the area of migration rules.
Given that European Migration Law consists of a complex and rapidly evolving body of norms, only a SELECTION OF TOPICS will be covered in this course. The selection includes four fields:
  • TOPIC 1: removal of checks at internal frontiers, and establishment of common control over External borders (hereinafter ‘Border control’);
  • TOPIC 2: conditions to qualify for international protection under EU law, and criteria to allocate, among EU Member States, the responsibility to process asylum applications lodged in the Union (hereinafter ‘International Protection’);
  • TOPIC 3: the right to acquire a permanent status and the right to family reunification for third country nationals (TCNs) who are legally residing in the territory of the Union (hereinafter ‘Regular Migration’);
  • TOPIC 4: the procedure to expel TCNs who are irregularly staying in the territory of the Union and the rights of TCNs who are subject to such procedure (hereinafter ‘Irregular migration’).
As its title suggests, this course is also designed to provoke students’ reflection on the link between European Migration rules and the requirements, with which the EU must comply, to set principles and mechanisms capable of ensuring the full respect of the Rule of Law.
To encourage students’ critical reflection on this topic, each lecture of this course will cover at least one of the following CORE THEMES (this means that some lectures will cover also more than one of the themes listed below).
  1. THEME 1 ‘Migration law beyond the state’: this theme is about drawing parallels and reflecting on correlations between concepts used in the context of the nation state (such as citizenship/ nationality /international migration/ international borders, etc.) and concepts used in the context of EU law (such as EU citizenship/ free movement/ external borders and internal frontiers). This theme will be developed, in particular, in Lectures N 1, 6, 7, 9, and 10.
  2. THEME 2 ‘EU migration norms and International Law’: this theme is about assessing conformity of EU law rules with international norms of jus cogens (such as prohibition of torture and - according to some scholars- its deriving prohibitionof refoulement) as well as with international norms deriving from treaties, such as the 1951 Geneva Refugee Convention and its 1967 Protocol, and the 1950 European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). This theme will be developed, in particular, in Lectures N 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, and 10.
  3. THEME 3 ‘Migration law in the European Courts’: this theme is about developments on case law concerning migration rules and mutual influence of the two regional international courts present in the European region, namely the Court of Justice of European Union (hereinafter ‘CJEU’, which is sitting in Luxembourg and has the monopoly of interpreting EU law) and the European Court of Human Rights (hereinafter ‘ECtHR’, which is sitting on Strasbourg and adjudicates on states parties’ compliance with the ECHR). This theme will be developed, in particular, in Lectures N 4, 5, 7, 8, and 9.
  4. THEME 4 ‘The rights of migrants’: this theme is about rights of migrants and individual access to justice. Particular attention will be devoted to the possibility that individuals have under EU Law to challenge in courts (national and supranational) migration rules and decisions by national authorities (for instance, refusal of entry in territory of the Union; negative decisions on asylum applications; but also decisions on Dublin transfers; returns;detention in the course of a return procedure; and a negative decision on an application for family reunification). This theme will be developed, in particular, in Lectures 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9.
  5. THEME 5 ‘Migration and Security’: this theme is about the difficult balance between individual rights and collective interests (such as public order, public security). Particular attention will be dedicated, to cases in which criminal convictions may have an impact on acquiring and retaining an internationally protected status; and to cases in which national criminal law may interfere with a return procedure. This theme will be developed, in particular, in Lectures 2, 3, 7, and 9.

Type of instructions
This course consists of 11 class meetings, of which 10 will be main lectures. The course will end with a review session in which students may ask questions and request clarifications on the content of the previous lectures and on study material.

This course will use three methods of instruction.
First, all weekly classes will take the form of an interactive lecture. This method is used to introduce students to the development of a particular area of European or International Migration Law, and to the substance of the legal norms and case law in that area.
In Lectures 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, the second part of the weekly class will take the form of a seminar, in which the class, guided by the lecturer, will discuss the prescribed assignment. This method is used to ask students to give an account of the assigned case law and literature, and to apply the law to the practical case or example given.
The third method of instruction involves self-study in the preparation of the compulsory reading for each lecture, and in preparation of the assignments (for Lectures 2, 3, 4, 5, 7).
 The combination of these three methods requires students who are eager to learn and committed to study week by week and to engage in class discussion

20 % Assignment
80% Written examination
(same rules apply to resit)
Course available for exchange students
Available for all levels
Contact person
Dr C. Raucea
Timetable information
Migration and Rule of Law
Written test opportunities
Written test opportunities (HIST)
Schriftelijk (80%) / Written (80%)EXAM_01SM 1104-12-2019
Schriftelijk (80%) / Written (80%)EXAM_01SM 1208-01-2020
Required materials
P Boeles (et al), European Migration Law, Intersentia, 2014. There is a special student rate for this book. You are advised not to use earlier editions as they are seriously outdated.
Title:European Migration Law
Author:P. Boeles (et al.)
Legislation reading pack 2019-2020 (available on Canvas and at TiU webshop)
Course Syllabus (available on Canvas)
List of literature
The list of compulsory literature and case law is included in the Syllabus. In the Syllabus the list of compulsory literature and case law is indicated for each lecture. Students are responsible to search and read the chapters, articles, and judgements indicated in the syllabus. All the material prescribed is freely available in TiU library catalogue and in the internet.
Recommended materials
Assignment (20%)

Written (80%)

Final Result

Kies de Nederlandse taal