Symposium on the normative foundations of European criminal law
17 januari 2022 10:00 – 16:30 Online via zoom
This symposium brings together leading voices in European Criminal Law to jointly reflect on the normative foundations of European criminal law.
Synopsis for the symposium
Criminal law has always been associated with sovereign power in a legal universe where law itself is defined by ‘sanctions’. On the one hand, it touches upon core functions of statehood including the safeguarding of internal security, criminal justice and law enforcement. On the other hand, it is the ultimate vehicle of social control due to its detrimental impact on individuals’ rights and liberties. Criminal penalties do not only restrict individuals’ fundamental right to movement; they also entail severe stigmatisation of the offender as the moral blame inherent in every criminal sanction remains firmly attached to a convicted criminal long after the sentence has been served. Criminal law thus reflects a value system which is also the source of its legitimacy in a given society. As such, criminal law has traditionally belonged to the realm of national competence. Yet, striking legal, institutional and political developments in this area under the last 30 years suggest that criminal law is no longer on the periphery of European integration. This raises several questions regarding the rationale underpinning EU criminal policy and its legitimacy within the context of a multi-level polity.
This symposium brings together leading voices in European Criminal Law to jointly reflect on the normative foundations of European criminal law. It examines this question drawing from various theoretical perspectives including competitive federalism, harm-based theories and other theories of legitimacy in criminal law, political theory including nondomination (security and freedom), communitarian and other citizenship-based studies as well as fundamental rights perspectives. Understanding the normative foundations of EU criminal law is of paramount importance not only for individual citizens, but also for EU Member States and the European Union within the context of increasing Euroscepticism and populism which currently endanger European integration as a political project. On behalf of Örebro University, Queen Mary University of London and the European Law Journal we welcome you to participate in this digital symposium with us.
Jacob, Valsamis and Karine