Europa Institute Conference
Friday 30 June 2017
The University of Edinburgh · 50 George Square – Room G.05
Organiser: Dr Leandro Mancano
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).
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)
10.30 – 11.30
Chair: Prof Valsamis Mitsilegas (Queen Mary, University of London)
11.30 – 12.00
Break for Tea/Coffee
12.00 – 13.00
Ne Bis in Idem
Chair: Maria Fletcher (University of Glasgow)
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)
14.45 – 15.45
EU Citizenship and Criminal Law
Chair: Dr Niovi Vavoula (Queen Mary, University of London)
15.45 – 16.00