The central challenge in creating a European Area of Freedom, Security and Justice is the co-ordination of the different European criminal justice systems. This is necessary because criminals operating internationally cannot be prosecuted successfully using national criminal justice systems the validity of whose decisions is territorially limited. Instead a co-ordinated prosecution system with jurisdiction or enforcement mechanisms for the whole of Europe is necessary for suitable prosecution of criminals operating throughout Europe. A system of this kind must fulfil two criteria: it must provide for efficient prosecution of crime, whilst at the same time maintaining high-level protection of affected citizens’ human rights, which observe the common European constitutional values. A co-ordination of criminal justices systems of this kind is complicated on the inter-state level by substantive and procedural differences between the various national criminal justice systems. Further problems arise because of organisational and factual differences. A systematic concept and the fundamental considerations for the conception of a European criminal law system remain absent. This project aims to produce proposals as to how this gap can be filled.

A first net­work meet­ing took place in Janu­ary 2007.

Pro­ject Part­ners

Den­markVagn GrevePro­fess­or, Uni­versity of Copen­ha­gen
Bel­gi­umAnne Weyem­bergPro­fess­or, Uni­versity of Brus­sels
Bos­nia and Herzegov­inaAlmir MaljevicSeni­or Re­search­er, Uni­versity of Sa­ra­jevo
FrancePeggy Pfützn­erMax Planck In­sti­tute
Fin­landMatti Tolvan­enPro­fess­or, Uni­versity of Joen­suu
Ger­manyMarc En­gel­hartMax Planck In­sti­tute
Hun­garyJu­dit Jac­sóAs­sist­ant, Uni­versity of Miskolc
Ice­landEgill Steph­ensenChief Pro­sec­utor, Rek­javic Po­lice
ItalyGi­ulio Il­lu­minatiPro­fess­or, Uni­versity of Bo­logna
Neth­er­landsPeter TakPro­fess­or, Raboud Uni­versity of Nijme­gen
Nor­wayJohn Re­idar NielsenDeputy Chief of Po­lice, Horda­land Poli­tidistrikt
Po­landEwa Wei­gend/An­drzej Sakow­iczMax Planck In­sti­tute/Uni­versity of Bia­lystock
Rus­si­an Fed­er­a­tionSofia Shes­takovaPro­fess­or, St. Peters­burg Uni­versity of In­teri­or Min­istry of Rus­sia
SpainLorena Bach­mei­er-WinterPro­fess­or, Uni­ver­sid­ad Com­plutense de Mad­rid
SwedenGöran Ber­lingChief Pro­sec­utor Helsing­borg
Switzer­landSabine Gless/
Jan Wen­nekers/An­nette Frey
Pro­fess­or, Uni­versity of Basel/Sabine Gless’ Chair, Uni­versity of Basel
United King­domJohn Spen­cer/
Chiara Man­cuso
Pro­fess­or, Uni­versity of Cam­bridge/Uni­versity of Cam­bridge & Uni­versity of Palermo
USAMarc Miller/Ron WrightPro­fess­or, Uni­versity of Ari­zona/Pro­fess­or, Wake Forest Uni­versity
Re­search Aim
The study de­scribed here aims to pro­duce a basis for form­ing a sys­tem­at­ic fun­da­ment­al concept for the co-or­din­a­tion of European crim­in­al law. This should provide the found­a­tions of prac­tic­ally real­ist­ic mod­els and sys­tems for the fu­ture co-op­er­a­tion to be de­veloped.
This con­cep­tu­al­ising mod­el and sys­tem de­vel­op­ment will take in­to con­sid­er­a­tion that fu­ture solu­tions for co-or­din­at­ing European crim­in­al justice can only real­ist­ic­ally res­ult from a fur­ther de­vel­op­ment of the reg­u­la­tions and in­sti­tu­tions cre­ated so far. For this reas­on the study will not only pro­pose an ideal solu­tion. It will also ex­plore how suit­able mod­els can be im­ple­men­ted with­in the frame­work of ex­ist­ing con­tracts as well as in that of the con­sti­tu­tion by means of a fur­ther de­vel­op­ment of the in­sti­tu­tions and struc­tures already in place.

Re­search Meth­od­o­logy
Solu­tion con­cepts and prac­tic­al mod­els will be de­veloped above all via a leg­al com­par­at­ive re­search ap­proach. Its basis is formed above all by a com­par­at­ive ana­lys­is of se­lec­ted ex­em­plary na­tion­al European and oth­er crim­in­al justice sys­tems. The in­clu­sion of fed­er­al and inter-na­tion­al crim­in­al justice sys­tems, which could serve as mod­els for European co-or­din­a­tion is par­tic­u­larly im­port­ant.
The pro­ject re­quires not only a de­scrip­tion of the re­spect­ive leg­al coun­try char­ac­ter­ist­ics and co-op­er­a­tion forms but (in as far as pos­sible in a sep­ar­ate sec­tion) also their eval­u­ation both with re­gard to the ef­fect­ive­ness as well as to the se­cur­ing of fun­da­ment­al freedoms, trans­par­ency and demo­crat­ic le­git­im­a­tion via or­gan­isa­tion­al forms. The eval­u­ation of the solu­tions presen­ted in the re­ports re­ques­ted from the coun­try rap­por­teurs is an aid for the over­all eval­u­ation of the crim­in­al justice mod­els. The lat­ter will be con­struc­ted in the fi­nal re­port with­in the leg­al com­par­at­ive eval­u­ation by the Max-Planck-In­sti­tute. This over­all eval­u­ation will oc­cur based both upon the ana­lys­is of the coun­try re­ports as well as the com­mon European or­gan­isa­tion­al and leg­al prin­ciples men­tioned above and iden­ti­fied by means of an eval­u­at­ing leg­al com­par­is­on of the fun­da­ment­al leg­al prin­ciples in European justice sys­tems, in­clud­ing that sur­round­ing the European Con­ven­tion on Hu­man Rights.