General principles guiding the incriminating activity of the european legislature

AuthorLamya - Diana Al-Kawadri
PositionResearcher, Centre for Legal, Economic and Socio-Administrative Studies, 'Nicolae Titulescu' University, Bucharest, Romania
Lamya – Diana Al-Kawadri
Lamya – Diana AL-KAWADRI
As the title itself reveals, the purpose of this study is to identify the general principles guiding
the incriminating activity incumbent upon the European legislature. Thus, this study started in the
first part to analyze the principle of legality which is found not only at the basis of the law itself –
lato sensu – and specific to each member state of the European Union (but not exclusively), and
which represents the fundamental principle of the European law also. Also, we shall also present
a few important characteristics of other principles such as, subsidiarity and proportionality,
ultima ratio principle, principle of guilt. Moreover, in the second part of this study we tried to
analyze some procedural aspects regarding the conferral of powers and the jurisdiction in
criminal matters and the duty to cooperate in good faith as tools that the European legislature has
used and is using in its standardization activity and, if we may say so, even in the development of a
common legislation to all member states of the European Union, especially in criminal matters.
Furthermore, in its’ third part, this study highlights the main changes brought by the Treaty of
Lisbon regarding first and foremost the shared competence and also the new instruments used by
the main Community actors.
Keywords: european criminal law, principles, incrimination, sanctions, effects.
Some authors of specialized literature reveal and consider that any criminal law theory is
made up of a set of ideas based upon which any criminal law can be clearly identified and
consequently explained1. Thus, it is highlighted that an important role held by the theory of the
criminal law is to systematize and clarify the structure, the actual meaning and the ethical sense of
the criminal law2.
As it has been noted by some criminal law scholars from ten European countries in a
Manifesto on European Criminal Policy3, the principles that we intend to present below are the
major contributor to and the motor of European civilization and current integration.
Each of the principles presented below has it’s own important role in EU law and criminal
law doctrine respectively, starting with the legality principle as a part of the rule of law, and
finishing with the conferral of powers and jurisdiction issues.
Researcher, Centre for Legal, Economic and Socio-Administrative Studies, “Nicolae Titulescu” University,
Bucharest, Romania. This paper is part of a broader research activity which is carried out under the CNCSIS PN II
Contract no.27/2010. Teaching Assistant, Ph.D. student, Faculty of Law, Nicolae Titulescu University (email:
1 Jerome Hall, General Principles of Criminal Law, second edition, the Bobbs-Merrill Company; Indianapolis,
New York, 1960, p.1.
2 Idem, p.26.

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