After this course, students are able to:
- Give definitions of the most important constitutional concepts and structures;
- Solve simple questions of a constitutional nature;
- Make a connnection between recent political and societal developments in the Netherlands and relevant questions of constitutional law;
- Apply acquired knowledge and understanding to simple cases or to current societal questions;
- Criticise solutions posed by others.
Most of the important legal rules are set by governmental institutions. Constitutional law deals with the legal norms guiding that process. What is the government, according to the law, allowed to do with the law, and - equally important - what is the government not allowed to do with it? Constitutional law thus deals with the legal aspects of the organisation of the state and the relationship between citizens and government. The course Introduction to Constitutional Law is divided into six themes. In the first week, we will use the concepts of the rule of law and democracy to paint the general picture that we will use during the rest of the course to provide insight in Dutch constitutional law. In the next weeks we will consecutively deal with the issues: legislation, forms of government, federalism and decentralisation, fundamental rights and the effect of international law in our national legal system.