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Staff Profile

Professor Eleanor Spaventa, Laurea (Rome University 'La Sapienza'), LL.M (Cantab), D.Phil (Oxon)

Personal web page

Professor in Durham Law School
Director of Gender and Diversity, Durham Law School
Ref Mentor, Durham Law School
Member of the Human Rights Centre

Contact Professor Eleanor Spaventa (email at


Eleanor Spaventa is Professor of European Union Law; in 2014 she was a Christopherson/Knott fellow at the Institute for Advance Studies in Durham; in 2011-12 she held a Fernard Braudel Senior Fellowship at the European University Institute. Eleanor has been Visiting Professor at the College of Europe in Natolin (2009-2012); at the University of Rome Tor Vergata (2009 amd 2014); and at the university LUISS "Guido Carli" (2009)in Rome, and she previously held positions at Birmingham University, where she was a lecturer, and at the University of Cambridge, where she was a Norton Rose European Law Lecturer and a fellow and Director of Studies at New Hall (now Murray Edwards).


Eleanor's research interests lie in European Union Law and in particular in the fields of European constitutional law, free movement, fundamental rights and co- operation in criminal matters in the EU. She is the author of "Free Movement of Persons in the EU - Barriers to Movement and their Constitutional Context" (Kluwer law International, 2007), the co-author of Wyatt and Dashwood's "Law of the European Union" (Sweet and Maxwell, 2006 and 2011), and the co- editor of "Social Welfare and EU Law" (Hart publishing 2005); "the EU and Global Emergencies" (Hart publishing, forthcoming 2010), and "A Constitutional Order of States: essays in honour of Alan Dashwood" (Hart publishing, 2011); and "Empowerment and Disempowerment of the European Citizen" (Hart Publishing, forthcoming, 2012). She is a recognised expert in her field; her work has been quoted by Advocates General in front of the European Court of Justice (cases C-443 and 444/14 Warendorf; C-434/09 McCarthy; C-34/09 Ruiz-Zambrano;C-27/09 P PMOI; C-22/08 Vatsouras; C-228/07 Petersen; C-212/06 Gouvernement etc, alla available on; in front of the Latvian Constitutional Court ( and she has been invited to provide written evidence on the Lisbon Treaty by the House of Lords Constitution Committee . Eleanor also submitted evidence to the MInistry of Justice as part of the balance of competences review on Fundamental rights (

In 2017 Eleanor authored a study for the European Parliament's PETI Committee on the impact on European Citizens of Brexit (, and in 2016 she authored a study on "The interpretation of Article 51 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights: the dilemma of stricter or broader application of the Charter to national measures" (

Eleanor is an analytical expert for the FreSsco network, a network of independent experts on the free movement of workers and social security funded by the European Commission to provide expert guidance in these fields ( In 2014 she co-authored an analytical report on the notion of restriction in the free movement of workers, and in 2015 she has co-authored a comparative report on "The concept of worker under Article 45 TFEU and certaiun non standard forms of employment contracts" (

Eleanor is currently working on both Brexxit and EU fundamenta rights. She has collaborated with and has been interviewed in various media outlets (including BBC World, BBC radios, Radio Sputnik etc).

Teaching Areas

Single Market
European Business Law
European Constitutional Law

Research Interests

  • Brexit
  • European Constitutional Law
  • European Union Citizenship and Free Movement
  • EU Internal Market
  • EU Fundamental Rights
  • Co-operation in Criminal matters in the EU
  • EU Counter-terrorism

Grants Awarded (past grants)

  • 2011 Fernard Braudel Senior Fellowship (European University Institute, EUR 9000)
  • 2010: Empowerment and disempowerment of the Union citizen, grant awarded by the Europa Institute (Edinburgh), value £10000, co-PI (with Nioc Shuibhne and M Dougan). 
  • 2008-09: EU and Global Emergencies, grant awarded by the European Commission's Representation, value  € 18500 from, co-I (Antoniadis principal investigator).  
  • 2007 The Reform Treaty, Italian Cultural Institute £ 2000.

Research Groups

Centre for Criminal Law & Justice


Durham Law School

  • Durham European Law Institute
  • Gender & Law at Durham
  • Human Rights Centre

Research Projects

Durham Law School

  • Grants

Selected Publications

Authored book

  • Dashwood, A.A., Dougan, M., Rodger, B., Spaventa, E. & Wyatt, D. (2011). Wyatt and Dashwood’s European Union Law. (6th edition). Oxford: Hart Publishing.
  • Spaventa, E. (2007). Free Movement of Persons in the European Union. Barriers to movement in their constitutional context. Alphen aan den Rijn: Kluwer.
  • Anthony Arnull, Dashwood, A., Ross, M. G. Wyatt, D. A. Spaventa, E. & Dougan, M. (2006). Wyatt and Dashwood's European Union Law (5th Edition). London: Sweet and Maxwell.

Chapter in book

  • Spaventa, E. (2017). Earned Citizenship - Understanding Union Citizenship through its Scope. In EU Citizenship and Federalism: the Role of Rights. Kochenov, D. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 204-225.
  • Spaventa, E. (2016). Economic justifications and Union Citizenship: Reallocating welfare responsibilities to the State of origin. In Exceptions from EU Free Movement Law - Derogation, Justification and Proportionality. Koutrakos, P., Nic Shuibhne, N. & Syrpis, P. Oxford: Hart Publishing.
  • Spaventa, E. (2016). Once a foreigner, always a foreigner: Who Does Not Belong Here Anymore? Expulsion Measures. In Residence, employment and social rights of mobile persons. On how EU law defines where they belong. Verschueren, H. Cambridge Intersentia. 36: 89-110.
  • Spaventa, E. (2014). Article 45 – Freedom of Movement and of Residence. In The EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. A Commentary. Peers, S., Hervey, T., Kenner, J. & Ward, A. Hart Publishing. 1161-1176.
  • Spaventa, E. (2014). Fundamental Rights in the European Union. In European Union Law. Barnard, C. & Peers, S. OUP.
  • Spaventa, E. (2014). Striving for Equality: who ‘deserves' to be a Union citizen? In Scritti in onore di Giuseppe Tesauro. Napoli: Editoriale Scientifica. 3: 2449-2466.
  • Spaventa, E. (2014). The Free Movement of Workers in the 21st Century. In Handbook of European Law. Arnull, A. A. & Chalmers, D. OUP.
  • Spaventa, Eleanor. (2011). Comments on Abuse of Law and the Free Movement of Workers. In Prohibition of Abuse of Law. Feria, Rita de la & Vogenauer, Stefan Oxford: Hart Publishing. 315-320.
  • Spaventa, Eleanor (2011). Counter-Terrorism and Fundamental Rights: judicial challenges and legislative changes after the rulings in Kadi and PMOI. In The European Union and Global Emergencies. Antoniadis, A., Schütze, R. & Spaventa, E. Oxford: Hart Publishing. 105-124.
  • Spaventa, E. (2011). The Horizontal Application of Fundamental Rights as General Principles of Union Law. In A Constitutional Order of States – Essays in Honour of Alan Dashwood. Arnull, A., Barnard, C., Dougan, M. & Spaventa, E. Oxford: Hart Publishing. 199-218.
  • Spaventa, Eleanor. (2010). The Constitutional Impact of Union Citizenship. In The Role of Courts in Developing a European Social Model - Theoretical and Methodological Perspective. Neergaard, U. Nielsen, R. & Roseberry, L. Copenhagen: Djøf Forlag. 141-167.
  • Spaventa, Eleanor. (2010). The impact of articles 12, 18, 39 and 43 of the EC Treaty on the coordination of social security systems. In 50 years of social security coordination: past - present - future. Jorens, Yves Luxembourg: European Commission. 112-128.
  • Spaventa, Eleanor. (2009). Federalisation versus Centralisation: tensions in fundamental rights discourse in the EU. In 50 Years of the European Treaties: Looking Back and Thinking Forward. Dougan, M. & Currie, S. Oxford: Hart Publishing. 343-364.
  • Spaventa, E. (2009). The Rule of which Law? The use of legal language in the rhetoric of the anni di piombo. In Imagining Terrorism: The Rhetoric and Representation of Political Violence in Italy 1969-2009. Antonello, P. & O'Leary, A. Leeds: Legenda. 116-127.
  • Spaventa, E. (2008). 'Fundamental Rights: the Interface between the Second and Third Pillar'. In Law and Practice of EU External Relations: Salient Features of a Changing Landscape. Dashwood A. A. & Maresceau M. Cambridge Cambridge University Press. 129-151.
  • Spaventa, Eleanor (2008). The outer limit of the Treaty Free Movement Provisions: some reflections on the significance of Keck, remoteness and Deliège. In The outer limits of European Union law. Barnard, C. & Odudu, O. Oxford: Hart Publishing. 245-272.
  • Spaventa, E. (2007). 'Fundamental what? The difficult relationship between foreign policy and fundamental rights’. In EU Foreign Relations Law: Constitutional Fundamentals. Cremona, M. & De Witte, B. Oxford: Hart Publishing. 13: 233-256.
  • Dougan, M. & Spaventa, E. (2005). 'Wish You Weren't Here.' New Models of Social Solidarity in the European Union. In Social Welfare and EU Law. Spaventa, E. & Dougan, M. Oxford.: Hart Publishing. 181-218.
  • Spaventa, Eleanor (2004). The Principle of Subsidiarity and the New Proposed Protocol. In Uma Constituição para a Europa. Almedina Coimbra: Livraria Almedina.
  • Spaventa, E. (2002). “La violenza nel contratto”. In I precedenti: la formazione giurisprudenziale del diritto civile. Alpa, G. Turin, Italy.: UTET.

Edited book

  • Dougan, M. NicShuibhne, N. & Spaventa, E. (2012). Empowerment and Disempowerment of the European Citizen. Oxford: Hart Publishing.
  • Arnull, A. Barnard, C., Dougan, M. & Spaventa, Eleanor (2011). A Constitutional Order of States: Essays in Honour of Alan Dashwood. Oxford: Hart Publishing.
  • Antoniadis, A. , Schütze, R. & Spaventa, E. (2011). The European Union and Global Emergencies. Oxford: Hart Publishing.
  • Dougan, M. & Spaventa, E. (2005). Social Welfare and EU Law. Essays in European Law 9. Oxford: Hart Publishing.

Journal Article

  • Spaventa, E. (2015). A very fearful Court? The protection of Fundamental Rights in the European Union after Opinion 2/13. Maastricht Journal of European and Comparative Law 22(1): 35-56.
  • Spaventa, E. (2015). Family rights for circular migrants and frontier workers: O and B, and S and G. Common Market Law Review 52(3): 753-777.
  • Spaventa, Eleanor (2009). Case T-256/07, Peoples Mojahedin Organization of Iran v. Council, judgment of the Court of First Instance of 23 October 2008, Case T-284/08, Peoples Mojahedin Organization of Iran v. Council, judgment of the Court of First Instance of 4 December 2008. Common Market Law Review 46(4): 1239-1263.
  • E Spaventa (2009). Leaving Keck behind? The free movement of goods after the rulings in Commission v Italy and Mickelsson and Roos. European Law Review 35(6): 914-932.
  • E Spaventa. (2008). Seeing the Wood Despite the Trees? On the Scope of Union Citizenship and its Constitutional Effects. Common Market Law Review 45(1): 13-45.
  • Spaventa, E. (2007). 'Opening Pandora's Box: Some Reflections on the Constitutional Effects of the Decision in Pupino'. European Constitutional Law Review 3(1): 5-24.
  • Spaventa, E. (2006). 'Remembrance of Principles Lost: on Fundamental Rights, the Third Pillar and the Scope of Union Law'. Yearbook of European Law 25(1): 153-176.
  • Spaventa, E. (2005). Case C-109/01, Secretary of State for the Home Department v. H. Akrich. Common Market Law Review 42(1): 225-239.
  • Spaventa, E. (2005). Case C-442/02, Caixa-Bank France v. Ministère de l’Économie, des Finances et de l’Industrie. Common Market Law Review 42(4): 1151-1168.
  • Spaventa, E. (2004). 'From Gebhard to Carpenter: towards a (non-) Economic Constitution'. Common Market Law Review 41(3): 743-773.
  • Spaventa, E. (2004). 'Public Services and European Law: Looking for Boundaries'. Cambridge Yearbook of European Legal Studies 5: 271-291.
  • Dashwood, A. A., Dougan, M.,, Hillion, C., Johnston, A. & Spaventa, E. (2003). Draft Constitutional Treaty of the European Union and related documents. European Law Review 28(1): 3-38.
  • Dougan, M. & Spaventa, E. (2003). Educating Rudy and the (non-)English Patient: A Double-Bill on Residency Rights under Article 18 EC. European Law Review 28(5): 699-712.
  • Spaventa, E. (2002). Case C-189/01, H. Jippes, Afdeling Groningen van de Nederlandse Vereniging tot Bescherming van Dieren, Afdeling Assen en omstreken van de Nederlandse Vereniging tot Bescherming van Dieren v. Minister van Landbouw, Natuurbeheer en Visserij, Judgment of the Full Court of 12 July 2001, nyr. Common Market Law Review 39(5): 1159-1170.
  • Spaventa, E. (2002). On Discrimination and the Theory of Mandatory Requirement. Cambridge Yearbook Of European Legal Studies 2000 3: 457-478.
  • Spaventa, E. (2002). On Discrimination and the Theory of Mandatory Requirements. Cambridge Yearbook of European Legal Studies 3: 457-478.
  • Spaventa, E. (2001). Case C-388/95, Belgium v. Spain. Common Market Law Review 38(1): 211-219.
  • Spaventa, E. (2000). Case C-254/98, Schutzverband gegen unlauteren Wettbewerb v. TK-Heimdienst Sass GmbH, Judgment of 13 January 2000, not yet reported. Common Market Law Review 37(5): 1265-1275.
  • Spaventa, E. (1998). Frost and Others v Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police and Others, Traduzione e nota. Responsabilita' Civile e Previdenza 1261-1281.
  • Spaventa, E. (1998). Il Genetic Privacy Act. Rivista Critica del Diritto Privato 245-258.


  • Spaventa, E (2017). The Impact on Brexit relation to the right to petition and on the competences, responsibilities and activities of the Committee on Petitions. European Commission Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and.
  • O'Brien, C., Spaventa, E. & De Corninck, J. (2016). Comparative Report 2015 - The concept of worker under Article 45 TFEU and certain non-standard forms of employment. European Commission.
  • Spaventa, E. (2016). The interpretation of Article 51 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights: the dilemma of stricter or broader application of the Charter to national measures. European Parliament.

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Media Contacts

Available for media contact about:

  • European Law: European Union Law especially free movement, internal market and constitutional issues