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Eleanor Spaventa

Professor of European Union Law, Durham University

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 Case 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 2016 Eleanor authored a study for the European Parliament's PETI Committee 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 also working on issues arising from the UK referendum on EU membership (see our facebook page UK in the EU referendum; follow us on twitter @UKEUreferendum) and contributes to the independent fact checking analysis provided for by Fullfact (

She is an expert in free movement law, internal market, European Union citizenship, EU fundamental rights, EU constitutional law. Co-author of two reports on free movement of workers for the European Commission, and one on EU Fundamental Rights for the European Parliament. Quoted by Advocates General in front of the European Court of Justice. Co-author of one of the main textbooks in EU Law (Wyatt and Dashwood's EU law).
DPhil in Law (Oxford)
LLM in Law (Cambridge)
Laurea in Giurisprudenza (MA in Law, La Sapienza, Rome)


  • –present
    Professor of European Union Law, , Durham University


  • 2003 
    Oxford University, DPhil in Law