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Versione italiana
Academic year
Didactic period
Secondo Semestre

Training objectives

The reasons, the needs and the sources of the "Europeanisation" of criminal law and procedure.
The interactions between European law sources and national criminal law and procedure.
The features of the Area of Freedom Security and Justice under the Treaty of Lisbon.
The instruments and basic rules on extradition and mutual recognition in criminal matters.
The interplay between EU cooperation in criminal matters and Human Rights protection.

To understand the reasons and needs underlying the process of harmonization of national criminal laws.
To spot and assess the mutual influence between European law sources and national criminal law.
To argue, distinguish or decide criminal law cases on the basis of European sources.


Basic knowledge of EU law and criminal law. English language B1

Course programme

The first part of the course will address the impact of the European Convention on Human Rights on national criminal laws, with a focus on the prohibition of torture and inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment (art. 3 ECHR) and on the principle of legality (art. 7 ECHR). The second part of the course will address the development of a European criminal policy and the interplays between EU law and national criminal law, with a focus on: (i) the lack of competence in criminal matters of European institutions under the founding Treaties; (ii) the harmonization of sanctions in the European legal system; (iii) the European administrative sanctions; (iv) the EU third pillar under the Treaties of Maastricht and Amsterdam; (v) the Area of Freedom Security and Justice under the Treaty of Lisbon; (vi) the European Arrest Warrant; (vii) the role of fundamental rights in EU criminal law.

Didactic methods

Frontal lessons, with use of ppt presentations, which will be available for attending students, by means of a mailing list.
During the course, at least one seminar will be held by students, who will be invited to read in advance an ECJ ruling and to illustrate it orally in class.

Learning assessment procedures

Written exam: seven open questions, to be answered within 2h 30 min.; the use of legislation is allowed.
Oral exam is an alternative open to students.

Reference texts

For students attending the course, the exam will focus on the issues and materials discussed in class. For students who do not attend the course, the following texts are mandatory reading

The Research Handbook on European Criminal Law (Eds: Mitsilegas, Bergstroem, Konstadinides), Elgar 2016, chapters 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 15.