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European Migration Law


Please note that the following description of the course is only provisional and therefore subject to change.

Admission requirements

  • Background in law

  • Sufficient command of English

  • Students should be familiar with the basics of international and European law.


In Europe migration is governed by international human rights treaties and European Union Law. Human rights play a predominant role in immigration law. Important treaties like the Geneva Convention on the Status of Refugees, the European Convention on Human Rights, the UN Treaty on the Rights of the Child and the UN Treaty Against Torture, limit the discretion of States in shaping immigration policies. For Member States of the European Union, this discretion is also limited by binding provisions of EU Law. Freedom of movement of persons having the nationality of Member States has since long been a primary goal of the European Union. With the entry into force of the Treaty of Amsterdam in May 1999, legislation on immigration and asylum matters, regarding third country nationals, has also become a subject of Union competence. Since 1999, a number of Regulations and Directives on issues such as asylum and family reunification have been adopted.
The course program is, apart from two introductory lectures, divided in three parts each consisting of three sessions (two lectures and a working group). In the introductory lectures the multilevel structure of European Migration Law and the basics of relevant international law and European law will be discussed. The three following parts concern: 1. Free movement of persons under EU law; 2. Family life and family reunification; and 3. Asylum.

Course objectives

The aim of this course is to provide students with knowledge and insight in the relation between the various levels of international and European migration law and their impact on individuals. Students learn to apply this knowledge to a migration case.

After having completed this course students must be able to:

  • To distinguish between EU law and international law and explain the relation between EU migration law and the various instruments of international and the way they interact in the abstract as well as in the context of a particular case.

  • To discuss and analyse orally and in writing key questions concerning free movement of EU citizens, family migration and asylum.

  • To solve a complex individual case on the basis of EU migration law and international law. To approach the case both from the viewpoint of the migrant and the viewpoint of the State. Students are expected to write a structured legal argumentation and research independently case-law and other relevant materials (in the asylum case for example country of origin information) and apply it to the case.



Mode of instruction


  • Number of (2 hour) lectures: 8

  • Names of lecturers: Mark Klaassen, Stefan Kok, Gerrie Lodder

  • Required preparation by students: reading the materials assigned in the prescribed literature and readers


  • Number of (2 hour) seminars: 3

  • Names of instructors: Mark Klaassen, Stefan Kok, Gerrie Lodder

  • Required preparation by students: Writing a paper (3x) and preparing an oral presenation based on this paper (1x)

Other methods of instruction

  • Working groups: Not applicable

  • Number (2 hour):

  • Names of instructors:

  • Required preparation by students

Assessment method

Examination form(s)

  • Three papers to be written during the course. The final grade will be the average of the results of the three papers.

Submission procedures
See Blackboard

Areas to be tested within the exam:
There is no separate exam. The papers are about the prescribed materials in the textbook, and materials provided through Blackboard during the course.


More information on this course is offered in Blackboard.

Reading list

Obligatory course materials

  • Parts of: Pieter Boeles, Maarten den Heijer, Gerrie Lodder, Kees Wouter, ‘European Migration Law’, (On Blackboard)

  • Additional articles (on Blackboard)

  • Legal texts (on Blackboard)

  • Case Law (on Blackboard)

Recommended course materials:

  • To be announced


Students have to register for courses and exams through uSis.

Contact details

  • Co-ordinator: Gerrie Lodder

  • Work address: KOG, room B0.05

  • Contact information: Tuesday

  • Telephone number: +31 (0)71 527 7727

  • Email:


  • Institute: Public Law

  • Department: Institute of Immigration Law

  • Room number secretary: B121

  • Opening hours:

  • Telephone number secretary: +31 (0)71 527 7535 (student assistant)

  • Email: (student assistant)