The Project’s aim

Visualising law, as we are attempting to do in this project, gives one a very different perspective. It gives you some idea of what the blueprint of the edifice of EU law would look like. Not unlike architecture, the basic concepts seem misleadingly simple. The challenge lies in making the right connections, and that is in essence what this project hopes to do.

At the same time – like “real” blueprints – any visualisation of the law is an abstract simplification, and no substitute for conventional methods of study. Just like an architect needs to know his building materials and use them properly; a lawyer needs to possess basic legal skills, needs to know his case law, and needs to know how to interpret and apply general rules and principles in a specific case.

The idea behind this project is that students, in-house lawyers and practitioners alike could benefit from a comprehensive set of graphic representations of the “core” of EU law, in the form of charts, in addition to the existing legal literature. This concept was developed through the combined professional experience of the authors, in academia and legal practice. The charts developed under this project serve several different, but largely overlapping purposes.

Firstly, they are intended as a learning tool. Most people understand (and memorise) complex or abstract content more easily if they have some form of visual aid at their disposal. For students taking courses in EU law for the first time, charts are an excellent way of getting a broad overview of the various topics before going into the detail of the relevant case law and secondary legislation, making for more efficient and more effective learning. For people who took courses in EU law as part of the typical curriculum for a law degree some time ago and need to brush up, a concise charted overview of the current state of EU law and charts mapping the main changes will prove a quick and easy way to do so.

Secondly, these charts are intended as a presentation tool. Whether lecturing EU law in a university, explaining an issue of EU law for a client, or making a presentation before the board of directors of a company, visual tools can be highly useful, especially so in the (often complex) field of EU law.

The overall structure of the project is designed to guide the (uninitiated) reader down the appropriate path for a specific legal issue, through the use of “decision trees”, pointing to the relevant charts which present amongst other things an overview of the main sources of EU law relevant to that specific issue. In this way, the core of the vast body of primary EU law, secondary EU law, and case law before the European Court of Justice and the General Court is made accessible in a practical and efficient way. For academics and practitioners who possess specialised knowledge of EU law, the decision trees provide a comprehensive checklist.

The Project wants to provide students and professionals with materials :

See more about the project’s background in the document BasicConcepts_EUR-Charts_1.0.ppt.pdf