Do labels still matter? Blurring boundaries between administrative and criminal law. The influence of the EU

Anne Weyembergh, Francesca Galli

Collection : Etudes européennes

Discipline(s) : Droit

Parution: 11/2014,
ISBN: 978-2-8004-1577-2
Nombre de pages: 258 pages
Prix: 28 €



Criminal law has considerably evolved in the last few decades.

A number of new trends have challenged the traditional features of “modern criminal law”. One of the new trends affecting criminal justice systems is the so-called “Europeanisation process”, which is the result of the growing intervention of the EU in the area of criminal law. Another new trend which criminal law and other legal disciplines are facing is the increasingly blurred dividing line between legal categories. Various dimensions of this unclear division between categories have been identified in legal literature, in particular between administrative and criminal law.

This book aims to study the combination of the two abovementioned trends and their impact on criminal justice systems. The hazy line between administrative and criminal law has been around for a while and has grown independently of the European Union. Up until now, it has mainly been analysed at the national level in a sector by sector approach. This research aims to go beyond such an approach to the topic and sets a systematised assessment of the situation in motion. The main questions that this book tackles are whether and to what extent the EU contributes to the blurred line and whether it tries to restrict it, hold it in check and/or organise it.

In order to reflect upon such issues, the book is divided into two parts.

The first part focuses on an analysis of selected case studies, namely different types of crimes where the EU plays an increasing role: trafficking in human beings, terrorism, protection of the EU’s financial interests, market abuse, environmental offences and competition. These case studies are ordered into four different categories based on how broad and significant the intervention of administrative measures/actors is in the fight against crime.

The second part of the book is of a more general nature. Following an article concerning the organisation of the coexistence of administrative and criminal law at the national level, the other contributions focus on the EU level and aim to assess the influence of the EU on the existence and development of the hazy line between administrative and criminal law. Most of them show that the EU somehow contributes to the lack of clarity. They tend to identify the main reasons for this and the potential problems caused by the blurred line in terms of individual procedural safeguards and the effectiveness of the fight against crime.

This book is the result of cooperation within an international team mainly composed of academics and researchers who are members of ECLAN (the European Criminal Law Academic Network) and of practitioners working at the national or EU level.

Compte rendu

“Thanks to its very balanced and positive approach to post-modernity, as well as to the diversified structure, including both case studies and general analysis, theoretical models and practitioners’ views, the book edited by Weyembergh and Galli represents an excellent and exhaustive analysis of a complex but highly topical subject. It serves both EU lawyers interested in EU enforcement mechanisms, as well as criminal lawyers wanting to place the criminal law developments into (EU) context. Finally, the clear language and the clear structure of the book, makes it also an approachable text both for experienced and early career researchers” (Irene Wieczorek, Brussels, Common Market Law Review, 52/5 October 2015, p. 1410-1412).

"Prolongement d'une conférence internationale organisée voici moins de deux ans par le Réseau académique de droit pénal européen et l'Institut d'études européennes de l'Université libre de Bruxelles, cet ouvrage permet très utilement de prendre la mesure de deux évolutions marquantes pour le droit pénal dans les pays de l'Union européenne. La première a trait à son incontestable « européanisation » croissante depuis l'entrée en vigueur du Traité de Lisbonne, ce qui lui confère de plus en plus une « nature supranationale » venant ébranler sa relation traditionnellement exclusive avec l'Etat-nation. La deuxième tendance se traduit par le « flou croissant » qui se manifeste désormais, partout en Europe, entre droits pénal et administratif. C'est à voir pour quelles raisons - et avec quelles conséquences, celles-ci n'étant pas fatalement négatives - cette cohabitation se développe, en particulier lorsqu'il est question de terrorisme et de trafic des êtres humains, que sont consacrées les quatorze contributions réunies dans ces pages. Un attrait supplémentaire du livre est que la porosité grandissante des frontières entre droits pénal et administratif, habituellement appréhendée au niveau national, y est étudiée à la lumière de l'influence que joue, en la matière, le processus d'européanisation" (Michel Theys, Agence Europe, bulletin quotidien, n° 11194, 10 novembre 2014).

PrintImprimer           MailEnvoyer à un ami