Law Enforcement by EU Authorities
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Law Enforcement by EU Authorities

Implications for Political and Judicial Accountability

Edited by Miroslava Scholten and Michiel Luchtman

EU law and governance have faced a new development – the proliferation of EU enforcement authorities, which have grown in number over the last 15 years. These entities, either acting alone or together with national enforcement authorities, have been investigating and sanctioning private actors on their compliance with EU law. Law Enforcement by EU Authorities investigates whether the system of control (in terms of both judicial and political accountability) has evolved to support the new system of law enforcement in the EU.
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Chapter 13: Pertinent issues of judicial accountability in EU shared enforcement

Rob Widdershoven and Paul Craig


This chapter discusses the judicial accountability of enforcement actions in which European Enforcement Authorities (EEAs) are involved, in the light of the fundamental European standards of the CFR and ECHR. In this respect three general weaknesses are highlighted. First, the framework of some EEAs facilitates the possibility of forum shopping by the authorities to the national legal order with the most far-reaching competences and the lowest procedural guarantees. Second, most regulatory EEA frameworks neglect essential procedural safeguards applicable to EEA investigations, such as the principle of legal professional privilege, the right not to incriminate oneself, and the ex-ante judicial authorisation of on-the-spot inspections. Third, in several areas it is uncertain whether individuals enjoy effective access to a court against EEA investigations. Most weaknesses should be addressed by the European legislator; some may be solved by the national courts.

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