JJUA55306U Food Law

Volume 2023/2024

Food law is a newly emerging legal branch that evolved greatly over the past twenty years. There are several reasons for that. Firstly, the global food business generates over $4 trillion per year in sales. The food industry is one of the largest manufacturing sectors and forms part of a diverse and complex supply chain. Secondly, food law is a functional field of law, which is defined by its function regarding food in society. Food is very personal. It constitutes part of family life, people's identities (e.g. veganism), a human right, and it has cultural context and relevance. Food law is present at the global (UN, FAO, WHO, WTO,), regional (EU), and national levels. Even private actors contribute to the regulation of food-related issues.

We can observe various new emerging: policies (e.g. EU Farm to Fork); regulations (e.g. food safety, packaging and labelling); and standards in the food sector. Many of these apply to most companies engaged in manufacturing, packing, growing, labelling, handling, storing, transporting, and importing food or food ingredients.

This course provides insights into both: substantive and procedural food law, which comprise rules and regulations, case law and policies that relate to food safety, food security and food trade. Within the course, we will discuss principles and specific rules addressing food as a product, service, the processes related to food acquisition and communication about food to consumers through labelling, private standards and how important food is to achieve Sustainable Development Goals.


The knowledge and skills gained in this course will offer future graduates an understanding of food law and its practical application in the private and public sectors. Graduates of this course will acquire the necessary practical knowledge and skills to be able to advise a variety of entities active within various food sector industries such as food supply chain, food labelling and standardisation, food safety, procurement and more. Consequently, the subject can be practically applied in the work of a law graduate, including variety of roles that the graduate can take within the subject of Food Law.


Learning Outcome

The learning objective of the course is to enable the students to:

  • Gain a solid understanding of the food law concepts
  • Give an account of the understanding of relevant food legislation in the EU
  • Identify how the law affects food safety and the position of interested parties;
  • Analyse the multi-layered structure of food law and the role of different players involved
  • Analyse a legal dimension of food-related issues
  • Design sustainable procurement of food.
  • Present arguments for different solutions in a structured and coherent manner that demonstrates a good overview of and insight into food law, case law and practice and the ability to make a qualified choice between these solutions
  • Developed strategies for responding to legal issues or considerations in matters involving food
  • Communicate and formulate knowledge and arguments professionally and linguistically correct and in a way that is structured and coherent


Compendium of  relevant literature 375 pages – all of which  will be available online or on Absalon  – will be provided in course curriculum at the first class.


Example of literature that will constitute part of the curriculum are chapters from:

C. MacMaoláin Food Law: European, Domestic and International Frameworks (Hart Publishing 2015); Bernd van der Meulen and Bart Wernaart (eds.) EU Food Law Handbook (Wageningen Academic Publishers 2020) supplemented by research articles


It is illegal to share digital textbooks with each other without permission from the copyright holder.

- Seminar discussions
- Case analyses combined with students presentations
- Group work
- Simulations - instructional scenarios where students are put in a "real-life" situations
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Preparation
  • 178,25
  • Seminar
  • 28
  • Total
  • 206,25
Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
Feedback by final exam (In addition to the grade)
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written assignment, 1 day
Type of assessment details
Assigned written individual assignment, 1 day
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
Exam period

January 08-09, 2024


February 14-15, 2024