Constantina Lazaridou

Constantina Lazaridou

Birmingham Law School
Doctoral researcher

Contact details

Qualifications

  • 2013 - 2016: Law LLB – Cardiff University
  • 2016-2017: Member of the Cyprus Bar Association (non-practising lawyer)
  • 2017-2018: Law LLM in Advanced Legal Studies – University of Reading
  • 2018 – 2022: EU Law PhD – University of Birmingham

Biography

I currently hold an LLB in Law Degree from the University of Cardiff in which I achieved a 2:1 and an LLM in Advanced Legal Studies from the University of Reading in which I achieved a Distinction.

The LLM in Advanced Legal Studies provided me with the opportunity to explore various areas of law in further depth than my undergraduate degree, but more essentially made me more specialized in EU Law. This gave me the flexibility to decide the area of my further research / postgraduate studies, as well as further enhanced my research skills through more general types of modules such as Research Methods and Legal Knowledge and Writing.

During my undergraduate years I was involved in the Cerebra Legal Entitlements Pro-Bono Scheme as one of the student legal researchers. Through this research, we published a report relating to whether local authorities adequately applied the law which provides the opportunity to parents with disabled children to receive ‘short breaks’ from care.

In addition, in the summer of my second year of undergraduate studies, I was a legal intern at a law firm in Cyprus which specializes in litigation. There, I had the opportunity to observe the practical court process, witnessing how a case develops from the point it is filed to court until it is closed. I also conducted legal research in preparation for the hearing of cases in court and my responsibilities also included the filing of cases and various legal documents.

Subsequently to my undergraduate studies and before I decided to conduct my postgraduate studies (LLM and PhD), I was a legal trainee at the same law firm in Cyprus for one year. During this time, I conducted the required 12-month pupillage in order to register as a member of the Cyprus Bar. I attended court hearings, prepared various pleadings for both civil and criminal law cases and I undertook legal research to find the relevant law and cases for such pleadings and hearings. In addition, I also undertook the required 10 examinations of the Bar, in which I was successful on the first attempt and thus this led to my registration as a lawyer/member of the Cyprus Bar Association in September 2017.

Finally, I teach at Birmingham Law School as a seminar tutor and I am also an online Law Tutor, which both provide me with the necessary teaching experience to pursue an academic career.  

Teaching

  • Criminal Law seminars
  • Criminal Law in Action seminars
  • Legal Foundations for EU Law seminars

Doctoral research

PhD title
To what extent does the European Court of Justice (ECJ) recognise and protect fundamental human rights in its application of the fundamental economic freedoms of the internal market?
Supervisors
Professor Anthony Arnull and Dr Bosko Tripkovic
Course
Law PhD / PhD by Distance Learning / MPhil / MJur

Research

My research project relates to whether fundamental human rights are effectively recognised and protected by the European Court of Justice(ECJ), in the European Union’s(EU) internal market and legal order. More specifically, my research seeks to assess the relationship between fundamental human rights(FHR) and the fundamental economic freedoms(FEF) when the two come into conflict.

FEFs, were considered as foundational values of the EU since its creation, establishing free movement within the Union. Through these, the main aim of creating an internal market, which would lead to economic integration across the EU, was achieved. Conversely, until the Lisbon Treaty of 2009, FHR were simply recognised by the ECJ as general principles of law. Subsequently to Lisbon, the Charter of Fundamental Human Rights (2000) was declared as legally binding and FHR were included among the foundational values of the EU. Therefore, since both FEF and FHR are foundational principles, they could potentially come into conflict in cases before the ECJ and raise the question as to which and if one should prevail.

Through the adoption of a doctrinal approach, i.e. an evaluation of the legal framework found in the Treaties and the case-law of the European Court of Justice(ECJ), relating to this conflict, will be conducted. Through this, I intend to investigate whether the new status of FHR has enhanced their protection in EU law, especially when in conflict with FEFs. I aim to analyse whether the way in which the ECJ deals with conflict cases is appropriate and whether through its rulings a hierarchy emerges, not only between these two principles, but also between the various human rights protected in the Charter. For instance, could it be legally justified for the ECJ to rule one human right as more important than another one? If so, might the perceived superior right be protected when in conflict with an economic freedom, whereas that freedom would prevail over the less important right?

Moreover, in cases where FHR may have been protected, it is vital to examine whether such protection was afforded for their own sake, or for the protection of other - potentially more economic - motives. This analysis will link to the exploration of what the EU’s aims are today and if and how they have changed since the EU’s creation. For instance, do they remain mainly economic or is the modern EU equally concerned with social matters, such as ensuring effective human rights protection? An answer to this question will also be relevant to whether it would be legally justifiable and moral for a FEF to prevail over a FHR and vice versa. This will reinforce the originality of my thesis, since most commentators have not made a connection between the EU’s aims and the relationship of the two principles. Instead, they have either focused only on the aims or on the relationship of the two principles.

Hence, in addition to making an original contribution to the existing knowledge, I also aspire to bring a change through this research. Thus, as the above unanswered queries illustrate the state of uncertainty this area of law is in, I also intend to adopt a prescriptive approach. This will offer suggestions as to how conflict cases could be dealt with more effectively by the ECJ, with a view of enhancing legal certainty, which will hopefully ensure effective FHR protection for EU citizens.

Publications

Report: Cerebra Local Authority Short Breaks Statements: Accessibility and Accuracy (2016)

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