TOWARDS EUROPEAN CRIMINAL PROCEDURAL LAW

Nantes, France

6-7 February 2020

The gradual increase of the European Union's competences in the field of criminal law, and the growing ambition of the European Commission's proposals, make criminal law one of the areas of EU law on which most attention is focused. At the heart of this field, criminal procedural law is made particularly interesting by its position at the intersection of two sectors that were traditionally excluded from the European Union's harmonisation competences: criminal law and procedural law. It also remains an area of significant discrepancies among the Member States. Although the impact of European integration on criminal procedure cannot be studied in isolation from instruments which primarily relate to substantial criminal law, the European law of criminal procedure warrants specific attention.The conference will be structured around three main topics. The first aims to examine the impact of the emergence of a European criminal procedural law on the judicial systems and procedural laws of the Member States. The second will deal with the - as yet - little studied impact of this emergence on EU procedural law itself. The third will allow further reflection concerning the elaboration of European standards, for instance in the field of fundamental rights, which frame this emerging criminal procedural law.1/ Scope and Impact of the Intervention of European Union Law on Criminal ProcedureSeveral European instruments have a direct impact on the functioning of national judicial systems. They form an increasing set of norms which affect national law,requiring the introduction of new rules, the modification of other, sometimes oldrules, or requiring the members of judicial authorities to change their practices. TheEuropean Public Prosecutor is one of the best examples of the interpenetration ofEU law and national laws in the area of criminal procedure, as it plans to givenational prosecutors a 'double-hat'. The extent of the changes that will be necessaryin national criminal procedural law remains to be seen and will probably evolveover the years following the inauguration of the European Public Prosecutor'sOffice. Other instruments belonging to more traditional forms of cooperation inthe criminal field, such as the European arrest warrant or Joint investigation teams,or the freezing of assets also require adjustments and contribute to the emergenceof a European criminal procedural law. The e-evidence proposals, which relate tocross-border access to evidence within the Union and on an international level, areinteresting reactions to the failure of the proposal linking a 'European area ofevidence' to the establishment of the European Public Prosecutor. Practicesdeveloped within national judicial systems and Eurojust also offer an interestingperspective on the way in which judges and prosecutors adapt to these mechanismsand on the construction of cross-border practices and exchanges which contributeto building European criminal procedural law.2/ Scope and Impact of the Intervention of Criminal Procedure on EU ProceduralLawThe impact of the development of European criminal law on EU procedural lawitself must not be overlooked. Its effects first appear in the preliminary referencemechanism, with the establishment and growing use of the urgent preliminaryreference procedure and, more generally, the issues that arise out of the Court ofJustice's involvement in ongoing national criminal procedures. One might wonderwhether such references require a modification of the procedure before the Court.Should such preliminary references take a different shape, considering the tendencyof sending the Court questions related to specific circumstances and not merelyabstract questions on the interpretation of EU law? The effects of the developmentof European criminal law also appear in the construction of new forms ofimbrication of procedures before the Court of Justice of the European Union andnational criminal procedure. Judicial review of the actions of different sections ofthe EPPO will, if it is to be efficient, require complex mechanisms both at thenational level and at the level of EU procedure.3/ The Need to Construct European Principles to Frame Criminal ProcedureA number of legislative instruments and judicial precedents indicate an ambition toconstruct common standards in the field of criminal procedure. The EU legislatorhas introduced several acts to establish minimum standards of protection of therights of litigants in criminal procedure: victims' rights, rights suspects and accusedpersons. In addition to this legislative effort, one must note the Court of Justice'scontribution, as it seems to act with increasing authority to enforce its ownstandards for fundamental rights protection in criminal procedure, includingthrough asserting its autonomy from the European Court of Human Rights. Agood example of this phenomenon appears in recent case law on ne bis in idem. Oneissue which will be particularly important over the next few years is judicial controlover the new tools allowing the collection and exchange of data across theEuropean Union, whose efficiency and broad scope could prove problematic,particularly regarding the right to the protection of personal data and the rights ofthe defence. The role of European courts in defending a high level of protectionfor these rights will probably be essential. Similarly, an important topic will be theEuropean Court of Justice's efforts to face the doubts of national authoritiesregarding fundamental rights protection and respect for the rule of law in othernational systems, evidenced by decisions questioning mutual recognition in criminalmatters and, therefore, the sustainability of certain instruments such as theEuropean arrest warrant. The construction of a European law of criminalprocedure thus raises the question of the establishment of common standards andof the Union's capacity to enforce its own standards.We invite papers exploring issues related to these three topics. Abstracts,presentations and papers can be in English of French. Young scholars areespecially encouraged to submit.Convenor : Araceli TURMO, University of NantesScientific Committee :Carole BILLET, University of NantesStefan BRAUM, University of LuxembourgRenaud COLSON, University of NantesFrançois ROUSSEAU, University of NantesAraceli TURMO, University of NantesAbstracts of up to 800 words should be submitted by 15 September 2019 to thescientific committee, at: coppue2020@gmail.com. Authors should also include ashort biographical note.Selected speakers will be notified by 20 October 2019. Authors whosecontributions are accepted will be expected to submit a draft paper (around 10 000words) by 30 January 2020.The selected papers will be published.Any queries about the conference may be addressed to the convenor atcoppue2020@gmail.com.



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