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Criminal Law in the EU: greater harshness through harmonisation?

Chaves, Mariana (2009) Criminal Law in the EU: greater harshness through harmonisation? In: UNSPECIFIED. (Unpublished)

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    Abstract

    This paper seeks to shed some light on the nature, scope and impact of harmonisation of national criminal law by the European Union. It will, more specifically, attempt to understand what is the main rationale behind the adoption of European criminal measures which harmonise national criminal offences and evaluate their impact on national legal orders. It will be argued that a main paradox emerges from this body of law, namely that notwithstanding the fact that the Treaty of the European Union envisaged harmonisation of national criminal law as being minimal, its scope and influence have been very broad, potentially bringing about a harsher criminal law across the EU. This broad scope was facilitated by a discourse of fight against organised crime which became the main rationale for the adoption of harmonisation measures. The EU’s viewpoint on organised crime has been far-reaching. This is seen mainly in three elements: in the adoption of a very broad understanding of what a criminal organisation is; in the criminalisation of a wide range of offences under the “umbrella’ of the fight against organised crime; and, finally, in the potential application of the measures adopted under this rationale to common criminality and to the indirect achievement of other goals. Ultimately, this broad approach led to an increase in criminalisation at national level, namely through the creation of new offences and through the expansion of the scope of existent ones.

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    Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
    Subjects for non-EU documents: EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > law & legal affairs-general (includes international law)
    EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > law & legal affairs-general (includes international law) > compliance/national implementation
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series: UNSPECIFIED
    ["eprint_fieldname_eusries" not defined]: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Conference: European Union Studies Association (EUSA) > Biennial Conference > 2009 (11th), April 23-25, 2009
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 12 May 2012 16:44
    Number of Pages: 32
    Last Modified: 12 May 2012 16:44
    URI: http://aei.pitt.edu/id/eprint/33038

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