LLM European Criminal Law and Justice

Module leader: Dr Marianne Wade

Teaching and assessment (2017-18): Semester 2, 1 x 6,000 word essay

Module description:

Outline of Seminar Topics:

  • An introduction to European Criminal Law.
  • European institutionalisation of criminal justice.
  • Police co-operation in the EU, Judicial co-operation in the EU and the EuroCrimes
  • The Area of Freedom, Security and Justice and specific criminal procedural measures
  • The European Union victim and facilitator of crime.
  • The potential European Public Prosecutor.
  • The reach of punitivity within the EU.
  • Adjudication and criminal justice at the European level.
  • Criminal justice in the EU? Legitimacy, accountability and the defence.
  • Future Development.

With the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon, the European Union is firmly on the map as an actor in the criminal justice arena. Not only does the Treaty – for the first time – provide the Union with a treaty basis to demand the use of criminal law to protect its financial interests, it is also infused with measures to factually strengthen, or indeed even create, EU criminal justice institutions which are likely to increasingly and deeply influence criminal justice proceedings at many levels in all member states. This module will provide students with a comprehensive and systematic understanding of the Union as a forum for criminal justice as well as a force to be reckoned with. 

The module will explore the current position of the EU in relation to criminal justice issues, as well as the theoretical and practical implications of developments so far. This involves analysing the EU’s development from a loose forum for criminal justice co-operation to the current institutional setting with its own agencies poised to become ever more influential. It also requires an examination of EU policy areas in which the Commission now enforces law via punitive methods akin to criminal justice. Furthermore the status of the EU as a potential victim of crimes (particularly against its financial interests) as well as a level of governance arguably bearing responsibility for serious crimes it facilitates (such as trafficking human beings) will be explored. The human rights implications of developments so far will be studied.