Impact of EU Law on National Criminal Law

Europa Institute Conference

The Impact of EU Law on National Criminal Law
Challenges and Constraints for Individual Liability

Friday 30 June 2017
The University of Edinburgh · 50 George Square – Room G.05

Organiser: Dr Leandro Mancano

Workshop Theme

The aim of the workshop is to understand how the peculiarities of the European Union as a legal order shape the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU)’s approach to criminal liability at national level. The impact of EU law on national criminal law has significantly increased over the years. This can be traced back to two main factors. Starting with the Maastricht Treaty, the Union has been provided with growing powers in criminal law, resulting in the adoption of many legislative instruments in this area. Furthermore, EU competences more broadly have expanded, as shown by the establishment of EU citizenship and Union provisions on immigration. This heightened the chance of interplay and conflict between state criminal law and EU law.

These two dynamics have had three main consequences. Firstly, even more pieces of national legislation have fallen under the umbrella of EU law and, as a consequence, the interpretative monopoly of the CJEU. Secondly, unprecedented principles have been applied to criminal law, as in the case of mutual recognition. Thirdly, traditional guarantees (the principle of legality, ne bis in idem) have been involved in this interaction, and their content has been redefined. This has had a huge impact both on sovereignty and fundamental rights. The Court has had a key role in promoting and managing that dialogue. The EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, which has taken on legally-binding value following the Lisbon Treaty, has been an integral part of such an interpretative task.

In this workshop, we discuss landmark judgements of the CJEU arising from the interaction between criminal liability at national level, on the one hand, and rights and principles protected by EU law, on the other. In order to provide a more reliable account of the impact of EU law on state criminal law, we take into account the peculiarities of the EU legal order. Therefore, we look not only at the relationship between Union norms and criminal liability per se, but also at the effects that the latter has on individual rights protected by EU law. Furthermore, we evaluate the impact that these judgements have had both at EU and national law levels.

The judgements have been selected by taking into account the substantive impact they have had on: the specific area of law and policy concerned, the definition of the rights and principles at stake. We analyse the following decisions, each covering a different area of EU law: C-387/02, Berlusconi et al. (Substantive criminal law – retroactivity of more lenient penalties); C-105/14, Taricco (Procedural criminal law – principle of legality); C-617/10, Fransson (Scope of application of the Charter – ne bis in idem); C-304/14, C. S. (EU citizenship – protection against expulsion and effects of criminal convictions); and C-61/11 PPU, El Dridi (Immigration – effectiveness of EU law and de-criminalisation).

Workshop Programme

8.30 – 9.00

9.00 – 9.15
Welcome from the Head of the Law School

9.15 – 9.30
Introduction from the Organisers

Session 1 – Building European Criminal Law: Principles and Constitutional Tensions

9.30 – 10.30
General Principles of Substantive Criminal Law
Chair: Dr Leandro Mancano (University of Edinburgh)

  • The Principle of Legality in European Criminal Law
    Prof Frank Meyer (University of Zurich)
  • Retroactivity of More Lenient Penalties from the Perspective of Italian Criminal Law
    Prof Alberto di Martino (Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies)

10.30 – 11.30
Criminal Procedure
Chair: Prof Valsamis Mitsilegas (Queen Mary, University of London)

  • Direct Effect of EU Law and Disapplication of National Criminal Law
    Prof Silvia Allegrezza (University of Luxembourg)
  • The principle of Legality as Counter-Limit: Reflections on the Taricco case
    Prof Vittorio Manes (University of Bologna)

11.30 – 12.00
Break for Tea/Coffee

12.00 – 13.00
Ne Bis in Idem
Chair: Maria Fletcher (University of Glasgow)

  • Scope of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and Criminal Proceedings
    Prof Steve Peers (University of Essex)
  • The Impact of the CJEU’s Case Law on Ne bis in idem from the Swedish Perspective
    Dr Maria Bergström (Uppsala University)

13.00 – 13.45

Session 2 – The Impact of European Criminal Law beyond Criminal Law: Citizenship and Immigration

13.45 – 14.45
Criminal Law and Immigration Control
Chair: Prof Niamh Nic Shuibhne (University of Edinburgh)

  • EU Law as a Limit to Criminalisation of Migration at National Level?
    Dr Niovi Vavoula (Queen Mary, University of London)
  • Reshaping Migration Control through General Principles of EU Law: The Italian Example
    Prof Alessandra Annoni (University of Ferrara)

14.45 – 15.45
EU Citizenship and Criminal Law
Chair: Dr Niovi Vavoula (Queen Mary, University of London)

  • The Evolving Character of the Criminal EU Citizen
    Prof Niamh Nic Shuibne (University of Edinburgh)
  • EU Citizenship and Criminal Convictions: An Insight into the United Kingdom Approach
    Dr Leandro Mancano (University of Edinburgh)

15.45 – 16.00

This workshop was supported by the Edinburgh Europa Institute
and co-organised with Queen Mary, University of London and the Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies