European Union Law: A Very Short Introduction

Anthony Arnull, £7.99, Oxford

It is an amazing achievement to write on this subject such a concise, interesting and balanced book. Whatever the future holds for this branch of jurisprudence, it will be hugely significant for us.

This book contains the basics: such as the various treaties, sources of European law and the individual institutions that govern, legislate and provide oversight. To say it is complex would be an understatement – Byzantine and arcane are words that spring to mind.

The impact and ramifications of European Law are not fully understood by many on either side of the discussion about Britain’s relationship with the EU. It is difficult to make any comment on this without seeming partisan, but this book deals with the issues in a very balanced way, with examples of cases showing how individuals, companies and countries have been affected so far.

It is essential to understand this important part of law, whether it continues to rule us – sorry, influence us – or becomes a footnote in history. An understanding of the law behind the politics is equally important and it is refreshing to read something clear and unbiased. Curiously, there is a chapter entitled, apparently without irony, ‘Coping with crises’.

David Pickup is a partner at Pickup and Scott Solicitors, Aylesbury