Overview of the EU legal system
Produced in partnership with Laura Bolado
Overview of the EU legal system

The following Public Law guidance note Produced in partnership with Laura Bolado provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Overview of the EU legal system
  • Competences of the EU and of its member states
  • EU law—what is it?
  • What happens if EU Law is not complied with?
  • Direct effect
  • Indirect effect
  • State liability

STOP PRESS: On 23 June 2016, the UK held a referendum on its membership of the EU, with a majority voting in favour of the UK leaving the EU (aka 'Brexit'). On 29 March 2017, the UK Prime Minister gave formal notification of the UK's intention to withdraw from the EU, commencing the withdrawal process under Article 50 TEU, see: Brexit: UK Article 50 TEU notification starts the clock—what happens now? Article 50 TEU specifies a two-year period for the UK and EU to negotiate the terms of withdrawal and the UK’s notification began the countdown. The EU Treaties shall therefore cease to apply to the UK by the end of March 2019, either from the date of entry into force of a ratified withdrawal agreement, or automatically two years after notification if no agreement is reached within the withdrawal period (unless extended by agreement). The full impact of Brexit remains to be established but the UK will remain an EU Member State, fully subject to EU law, until the moment that it leaves. We are reviewing our content on the basis of information available and will keep it under regular review throughout the withdrawal period. In the meantime, for background reading, links to related guidance and policy documents, plus the latest analysis on the potential impact on our content,