6 February 2023 (updated 1 month ago)
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Limitations of the Transnational ne bis in idem Principle in EU Law
Remarks on the ECJ’s Diesel Scandal Volkswagen Case
The ne bis in idem principle is one of the most fundamental guarantees in criminal procedure law. It prohibits a second prosecution in cases that have already been concluded by a final decision. According to the traditional understanding, the principle excludes a duplication of proceedings only within the same jurisdiction. Art. 50 CFR, however, which was incorporated into primary EU law by Art. 6 TEU, extends the principle’s scope to the transnational sphere to the effect that a final decision in one Member State constitutes a bar to new proceedings in other Member States of the EU as well. While this transnational ne bis in idem guarantee in principle allows for limitations, these must meet the requirements provided for by Art. 52 para. 1 CFR.
The pending Case C-27/22, which has its roots in the diesel scandal involving German automobile producer Volkswagen, gives the Court of Justice of the European … Read more
Using US Artificial Intelligence to Fight Human Trafficking in Europe
Potential Impacts on European Sovereignties
Human trafficking is keeping pace with new technologies, but so is its repression. Nowadays, artificial intelligence (AI) systems support the daily work of law enforcement authorities in detecting and investigating trafficking schemes. These systems were developed, and are used primarily, in the United States of America (US). As the fight against human trafficking is a worldwide priority, they are often exported from the US or replicated. Yet, so far, little research has been done to examine how (US) policies and values might be embedded in these specific systems. This article argues that the spread of US tools using artificial intelligence to combat human trafficking hinders the autonomy of foreign States. Particularly in the European context, these tools might challenge national criminal sovereignty as well as Europe’s digital sovereignty. The article highlights the US policies surrounding human trafficking that are embedded in these AI systems (legal definition, political priorities and decisions) … Read more
Criminal and Administrative Procedures in Protecting the Financial Interests of the EU
EPPO and OLAF – Cooperation by Design
This article argues that, with the establishment of the EPPO, the European Union intended to pursue, through the integration of procedural powers vested within the EPPO and OLAF, the creation of an “end-to-end” prosecution cycle that is able to seek both criminal penalties and administrative/financial sanctions, such as asset forfeiture and the restoration of damages caused by violations and misuse of EU funds. The authors reach the conclusion that this newly established holistic approach for the prosecution of administrative violations and criminal activities increases the effectiveness of the work of all EU bodies in tackling crime, securing punishments for the criminal perpetrators, and increasing the possibility for the misappropriated funds to be recovered.
The article further stresses that, for the purposes of a proper investigation, administrative and criminal investigative work can often overlap. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to ensure coordination between all investigative bodies. In this context, the article … Read more
The EPPO Faces its First Important Test: A Brief Analysis of the Request for a Preliminary Ruling in G. K. and Others
The article analyses the first question referred to the Court of Justice of the European Union for a preliminary ruling in a case concerning the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO). It involves the interpretation of a key provision regarding the investigations of this new office, i.e. Art. 31 of Council Regulation EU 2017/1939. This provision governs investigative measures that need to be undertaken in a Member State other than the Member State of the handling European Delegated Prosecutor. In the case at issue, the Oberlandesgericht Wien, Austria is seeking clarification as to the extent of judicial review if it comes to cross-border investigations within this regime. The author argues that the case raises a number of key issues for the functioning of the EPPO regarding its structure and operation, not to mention the EPPO’s relevance in the creation of a common area of justice in the European Union.Read more
Yachts and Airplanes: What Procedures and Legal Theories Are Being Used to Forfeit Russian Assets in the United States?
For the past year – since the Russian invasion of Ukraine – there has been a great deal of interest in the seizure and forfeiture of the assets of the Russian oligarchs who have become subject to international economic sanctions. Different countries have taken different approaches: Some have merely been freezing the assets of sanctioned persons based on statutory authority to restrain their movement. Others have found ways to confiscate – or permanently take title to – these assets, invoking a variety of legal theories and instruments to do so.
In the United States, the approach has been to obtain a seizure warrant based on probable cause to believe that a yacht, airplane, or other asset of a sanctioned Russian individual or entity is subject to forfeiture because of its nexus to a criminal offence; then to seek the assistance of the courts in the jurisdiction where the asset is located … Read more
The Conflict of Competence between the European Public Prosecutor’s Office and Spanish Prosecutors – Lessons Learned
The rules on the exercise of competence by the European Public Prosecutor’s Office have been discussed by several authors. It has been put forward that the way in which material competence is regulated is highly complex; as is the division of competences between the European Public Prosecutor’s Office and national authorities. In addition to jeopardising legal certainty, this poses a major challenge to the practical application of the law. Such challenges recently came to light in a case of positive conflict of competence involving the Spanish Prosecutor’s Office and the European Public Prosecutor’s Office. This article recapitulates the case and argues that while the conflict has been temporarily resolved, the parties’ statements indicate that its roots go deeper than flawed EU regulation, testing the limits of the principle of the primacy of EU law.Read more