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Jacob Öberg

Title: Senior Lecturer School/office: School of Law, Psychology and Social Work


Phone: +46 19 303370

Room: L2438

Jacob Öberg

Research subject

About Jacob Öberg

Curriculum Vitae


Master of Laws (LLM), at University of Stockholm 2008. Associate Delphi Law firm 2008-2010. Doctor of Laws (LLD) at European University Institute 2014. Has been teaching European Law and EU criminal law since 2011 at Stockholm and Uppsala University. Employed as visiting lecturer August 2014 at Örebro University. Senior Lecturer in Law from May 2015. Conferred with the title of Associate Professor in Law in December 2016


My previous teaching experience concerns in essence constitutional EU law and EU criminal law. At Örebro University I am, however, teaching and supervising in general criminal law, sanctioning, general procedural law, migration law, EU law and EU criminal law


My PhD research, conducted under the supervision of Prof Giorgio Monti, focused on the limits of the exercise of EU competences using EU criminal policy as a case study. The thesis developed a general framework for testing the legality of EU legislation which is subsequently applied to discrete examples of EU criminal law measures. This examination demonstrated the existence of several important procedural and substantive limitations to the exercise of EU competences. The key conclusion of the thesis is that whilst the EU legislator often is able to adequately explain the reasons for criminalization, it regularly fails to substantiate the need for criminalization with sufficient and relevant evidence. The defence of the thesis took place on 26 September 2014.

In terms of research within the general field of EU constitutional law, I am particularly interested in the division of powers between the Member States and the Union. I have previously studied the horizontal direct effect of EU law and have, additionally, published extensively in the fields of EU constitutional law and EU criminal law in internationally renowned journals. My second core research interest, specific for EU criminal law, lies in the question of its effectiveness in pursuing EU and national regulatory policies. In this research, I have used a comparative perspective, by examining the effectiveness of criminal sanctions in relation to non-criminal sanctions, to assess the suitability of criminalization of EU policies. Instead of resorting to dogmatic legal analysis or biased sociological, law and economics and political science approaches, I combine sources from both legal and non-legal disciplines to construct a comprehensive and cogent theory of the appropriateness of criminal sanctions.


At the present I am completing a manuscript for publication of a monograph for Hart Publishing based on my doctoral dissertation. The envisaged monograph, which is forthcoming in July 2017,  will entail substantial changes to my original manuscript. In addition to EU environmental law and EU market abuse law, there will be added case studies on money laundering and crimes against the EU’s financial interests. Furthermore, the envisaged monograph will add a specific chapter on how national parliament’s power to review EU criminal law legislation after Lisbon Treaty could entail the creation of new checks to the exercise of EU criminalization powers.

In addition to the book project, I am currently working on a research project on how the subsidiarity principle in EU law can restrain the exercise of EU’s criminal law competences. Within the scope of this study I am examining both the EU’s substantive and procedural criminal law competence. The result of this research is critical to whether the EU legislator to a sufficient degree has taken into account the subsidiarity principle when it has proposed legislation within the field of criminal law.

One of my future research projects will aim to take further my doctoral research to ask a more fundamental question of European law. Whilst my doctoral dissertation ascertained the constraints that are placed on the EU legislator in the exercise of its legislative powers, it did not examine in detail the question of what the developments in EU criminal law say about the nature of the European legal order in general. It is the latter which is the focus of my postdoctoral project. The project is to be divided into two parts. The first part explores the concept of ‘supra-nationality’. This part will comprehensively explain which criteria determine the degree of ‘supra-nationality’ that a certain field of EU policy enjoys. Based on the criteria developed in this part, the second part of the project examines whether EU criminal law has, in fact, been ‘supra-nationalized’. The ultimate objective of this project is, by examining the developments of EU criminal law, to provide an enhanced understanding of the ‘supra-national’ concept.

A second envisaged research project for the future would, building on my previous research on criminalization of EU policies, concern the general case for the appropriateness of criminal laws in the enforcement of substantive EU legislation. The project with the tentative title “Appropriateness of criminal sanctions for the enforcement of EU law” will by employing research in the fields of criminology, economics and political science discuss the particular problem of the European Union criminalization project. To obtain more general findings, I will examine two areas of EU law, intellectual property and illegal immigration/irregular immigration.


Articles in journals |  Articles, reviews/surveys |  Books |  Chapters in books |  Collections (editor) |  Conference papers |  Other |  Reports | 

Articles in journals

Öberg, J. (2018). The legal basis for EU criminal law harmonisation: a question of federalism?. European Law Review, 43 (3), 366-393.
Öberg, J. (2017). Subsidiarity as a Limit to the Exercise of EU Competences. Yearbook of European Law, 36, 391-420.
Öberg, J. (2015). Subsidiarity and EU Procedural Criminal Law. European Criminal Law Review, 5 (1), 19-45.
Öberg, J. (2014). Do we really need criminal sanctions for the enforcement of EU law?. New Journal of European Criminal Law, 5, 370-387.
Öberg, J. (2013). The definition of criminal sanctions in the EU. European Criminal Law Review, 3 (3), 273-299.
Öberg, J. (2011). Criminal Sanctions in the Field of EU Environmental Law. New Journal of European Criminal Law (4), 402-425.
Öberg, J. (2011). Union Regulatory Criminal Law Competence after Lisbon Treaty. European Journal of Crime, Criminal Law and Criminal Justice, 19 (4), 289-318.
Öberg, J. (2010). Tjänstedirektivet- en papperstiger?. Europarättslig tidskrift (1), 109-123.
Öberg, J. (2007). Horizontal Direct Effect of Article 39 of the EC Treaty. Europarättslig tidskrift (4), 777-802.

Articles, reviews/surveys

Nergelius, J. , Öberg, J. & Öberg, M. (2017). Europarättsdagarna 2016. Europarättslig tidskrift (2), 263-266.


Öberg, J. (2017). Limits to EU Powers: A Case Study of EU Regulatory Criminal Law. Oxford: Hart Publishing Ltd (Hart Studies in European Criminal Law ).
Öberg, J. (2011). The doctrine of horizontal direct effect in EC law. Saarbrücken: Lambert Academic Publishing.

Chapters in books

Öberg, J. (2019). EU Procedural Criminal Law after Lisbon . In: Jannemieke Ouwerkerk, Judit Altena, Jacob Öberg and Samuli Miettinen, The Future of EU Criminal Justice Policy and Practice: Legal and Criminological Perspectives (pp. 225-254). . Brill Academic Publishers.
(2019). Introduction . In: Jannemieke Ouwerkerk, Judit Altena, Jacob Öberg and Samuli Miettinen, The Future of EU Criminal Justice Policy and Practice: Legal and Criminological Perspectives (pp. 1-12). . Brill Academic Publishers.
Öberg, J. (2016). Legal Diversity, Subsidiarity and Harmonization of EU Regulatory Criminal Law. In: Renaud Colson & Stewart Field, EU Criminal Justice and the Challenges of Legal Diversity : legal cultures in the area of freedom, security and justice (pp. 87-105). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Öberg, J. (2013). Union Regulatory Criminal Law Competence after Lisbon Treaty. In: H-J Albrecht and A. Klip, Crime, criminal law and criminal justice in Europe : a collection in honour of Prof. Em. Dr. H.C. Cyrille Fijnaut (pp. 297-324). Leiden: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers.
Öberg, J. (2012). The Principle of Proportionality, Federalism and Judical Review in the Law of Free Movement. In: Loïc Azoulai, Lena Boucon, François-Xavier Millet, Deconstructing EU federalism through competences: EUI workshop proceedings - 14 June 2011 (pp. 65-87). Florence: European University Insitute.
Skoglund, P. & Öberg, J. (2011). Sweden. In: Simon Bushell, International Fraud and Asset Tracing (pp. 257-266). London: Sweet & Maxwell.

Collections (editor)

Ouwerkerk, J. (ed.) , Altena, J. (ed.) , Öberg, J. (ed.) & Miettinen, S. (ed.) (2019). The Future of EU Criminal Justice Policy and Practice: Legal and Criminological Perspectives. Brill Nijhoff (European Criminal Justice Series Vol. 1).

Conference papers

Öberg, J. (2014). Legal basis for the criminal enforcement of EU policies. Paper presented at Reforming the EU: The Future of European Law and Policy IV, Birmingham, United Kingdom, June 26-27, 2014.
Öberg, J. (2014). ‘The principle of subsidiarity and the harmonisation of national criminal procedure’. Paper presented at European Criminal Policy Initiative conference, A Manifesto for European Criminal Procedure Law, Stockholm, Sweden, June 12-13, 2014.
Öberg, J. (2013). Effective limits to the exercise of union competences: a case study of regulatory criminal law. Paper presented at Jean Monnet Doctoral seminar, Brussels, Belgium, November 14-15, 2013.
Öberg, J. (2013). Legal Diversity, Subsidiarity and the Case for Harmonization of EU Criminal Law. Paper presented at EU criminal law meets legal diversity - Towards a socio-legal approach to EU criminal policy, EUI, Florence, Italy, June 6-7, 2013.



Öberg, J. (2015). Union regulatory criminal law competence - scope, limits and judicial review. Stockholm: Swedish Swedish Institute for European Policy (SIEPS 2015:4).