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Editorial Guest editorial eucrim 1-2023
Dear Readers, Artificial Intelligence (AI) has the potential to help us in many ways. One of the promising fields in which AI can be employed is in the fight against crime, as is spotlighted by a number of contributions in this issue, e.g. on AI’s impact on anti-money-laundering regimes or on the employment of AI to prevent cross-border human trafficking. AI also shows its immense potential when applied in the field of forensic analysis, where robots equipped with advanced imaging and analysis capabilities can assist. They are not only capable of processing evidence, collecting fingerprints, analysing DNA samples, and performing… Read more
Efficiency contra legem?
Remarks on the Advocate General’s Opinion Delivered on 22 June 2023 in Case C-281/22 G.K. and Others (Parquet européen)
The first preliminary ruling request concerning the EPPO Regulation raises several interesting questions regarding the interpretation of its Art. 31 on cross-border investigations. Advocate General Ćapeta presented her Opinion and proposals to the Court of Justice of the European Union on 22 June 2023. Her analysis shows the difficulties that the Court will presumably face when trying to find proper answers to the questions raised by the Higher Regional Court of Vienna (Austria), as it is difficult to reconcile the wording and context of its provisions and its legislative history with the Union legislator’s presumed objectives, namely, to establish an efficient system for cross-border cooperation. The author concludes that a proper solution will in any case require an amendment of Art. 31 by the Union legislator. In particular, it should be up to the legislator to clarify the scope of review to be undertaken in the course of any ex … Read more
“Error 404 – Match not found”
Tax Enforcement and Law Enforcement in the EU Artificial Intelligence Act
In EU Member States, tax administrations are the public organs that make most use of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) systems to perform State prerogatives. At least 18 EU Member States frequently use AI tax enforcement systems. In certain areas of taxation, such as value-added tax, AI and ML are already used throughout the EU. These systems perform a relatively broad range of tasks, reflecting the wide array of prerogatives of the administration itself. Generally, these different systems can be categorized into two archetypes: coercive and non-coercive AI systems. While non-coercive AI tax systems do not generate significant risks of conflict with taxpayers’ fundamental rights, coercive AI tax systems used for tax enforcement bring about serious risks of conflict with taxpayers’ fundamental rights and tax procedure as a whole. These risks have already materialised in a number of cases and have even led to serious scandals, such as … Read more
Artificial Intelligence in Law Enforcement Settings
AI Solutions for Disrupting Illicit Money Flows
With the rise and spread of ICT-enabled crimes and illicit money flows (IMFs), law enforcement authorities and financial intelligence units need innovative investigative tools and skills, and organisational and regulatory adjustments to counter crime. The multi-disciplinary TRACE project is developing AI solutions to identify, track, and document IMFs to pave the way for effectively prosecuting money laundering and predicate offences and recovering criminal proceeds. In this article, the authors present the TRACE project to reveal some of the challenges faced by law enforcement authorities in adopting AI-driven investigative tools, taking into account the ongoing legislative procedures in preparation for the adoption of the EU Artificial Intelligence Act. It is argued that more empirical research is required on the design and feasibility of these AI-enabled tools given their implications for various legal principles, such as privacy, data protection, and the right to a fair trial. An “ethics and rule of law … Read more
Why a Human Court?
On the Right to a Human Judge in the Context of the Fair Trial Principle
For centuries, “doing justice” has been a fundamentally anthropocentric effort: Humankind has been placed at the centre of emerging paradigms and systems such as (quite self-evidently) human rights, constitutionalism, and – gradually – also international law. In addition to focusing adjudication on individuals and their litigated interests, this has meant an administration of justice taking the form of human activity. The advent of automated public decision-making, including adjudication based on artificial intelligence (AI) tools, has raised concerns of possible shortcomings and abuses of justice resulting from their application. So is it time to change this anthropocentric mindset? More specifically, has the time come to replace human judges with AI? Can we do without them? Technological progress, rather than legal considerations, is likely to decide the fate of the anthropocentric outlook. This is why this essay aims to focus on the future of human judges. The proposition put forward is that … Read more
A 2023 non-conviction based (NCB) forfeiture order was recently issued against three clubhouses in Canada. Each served as the chapter headquarters for an outlaw motorcycle gang. Clubhouses form the base of operations for their organized criminal activities. The protracted litigation started in 2007, and a Canadian appellate court found in February 2023 that the clubhouses were forfeitable as instruments, as they supported the organized criminal activities of outlaw motorcycle gangs. The court overturned a trial ruling that part of the NCB law was unconstitutional. The court also held that each clubhouse served as a “safe house” for the respective gang, namely as a place where business could be conducted away from the prying eyes of the police. The clubhouses were also intelligence hubs, where members could discuss their criminal business, their rivals, and the techniques used by police to interdict them. Lastly, the court found that each clubhouse operated as … Read more