EU Criminal Law and Justice

EU Criminal Law and Justice

Elgar European Law series

Maria Fletcher, Robin Lööf and Bill Gilmore

Today, EU criminal law and justice constitutes a significant body of law potentially affecting most aspects of criminal justice. This book provides a comprehensive, accessible yet analytically challenging account of the institutional and legal developments in this field to date. It also includes full consideration of the prospective changes to EU criminal law contained in the recent ‘Lisbon Treaty’. While, broadly speaking, the authors welcome the objectives of EU criminal law, they call for a profound rethinking of how the good of criminal justice – however defined – is to be delivered to those living in the EU. At present, despite sometimes commendable initiatives from the institutions responsible, the actual framing and implementation of the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice (AFSJ) suffers from a failure to properly consider the theoretical implications of providing the good of criminal justice at the EU level.

Conclusion

Maria Fletcher, Robin Lööf and Bill Gilmore

Subjects: law - academic, criminal law and justice, european law

Extract

What we hope to have shown in this book is that a fundamentally positive approach to the broad aims and ideals of EU criminal law and justice can be combined with rigorous criticism of many of its aspects. The everincreasing social, economic and political integration in Europe, largely as a result of EU/EC initiatives, is a welcome development. However, we fundamentally believe that this development in our continent requires a profound rethinking of how the good of criminal justice – however defined – is to be delivered to those living there. As we hope has become apparent in the preceding chapters, this fundamental position is echoed by the institutions charged with developing the EU’s AFSJ. At the same time, and as was stated in the introduction, the actual framing of the AFSJ suffers from a failure properly to consider the theoretical implications of providing the good of criminal justice at the EU level. In legislative action, judicial pronouncements, official reports, etc., ground-breaking novelties with far-reaching theoretical implications fail to deal with the fundamental theoretical issues involved. Looking at EU criminal law and justice today, one is faced with a significant body of law potentially affecting most aspects of criminal justice. For us, the starting point for any inquiry into the nature of EU criminal law and justice must be this existing legal framework. Even though the decision makers have failed to consider the potential theoretical and conceptual implications of their actions, this does not rule out the...

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