Questioning the Normative Foundations of European Criminal Law

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Professors Valsamis Mitsilegas and Jacob Öberg challenge fellow experts in European criminal law to reflect on the normative foundations of European criminal law in a special issue from the European Law Journal.

The European Law Journal has published a Special Issue covering the ‘Review of European Law in Context’ as part of their endeavour to foster collaborative research projects on European integration. The issue raises questions at the nexus of the legal, political, and axiological realms which ultimately allows us to reflect upon the meaning of European integration as a whole.

Professor Valsamis Mitsilegas, School of Law and Social Justice, University of Liverpool and Professor Jacob Öberg, Öbebro University, challenge experts to question the ‘normative foundations’ of European Criminal Law with the outcome being ten articles, from thirteen contributing authors.

Through the Special Issue, reflections are made in numerous areas associated with European integration in the criminal law field. Covering topics such as:

• The place of criminal law in the European construction;
• Incremental European integration in the criminal law field;
• The emerging role of the EU as a primary normative actor in the EU area of criminal justice;
• European public goods and transnational interests;
• Development of the EU’s penal jurisdiction;
• Principles of EU criminalisation;
• Securing the normative foundations of EU criminal law through an integrated approach to independence; the issue allows us to consider European integration through criminal law.

A recently published article from Professor Valsamis Mitsilegas and Professor Elspeth Guild, Queen Mary University of London, titled ‘The Legal Duty of the EU to Criminalise Failure to Rescue at Sea’, also features. The ambitions of this collaborative study are to emulate further research and publications on the meaning of European integration through law in other specific fields of EU Law as well as transversally.

The publication of the Special Issue follows an online symposium hosted by Öbebro University, and an exchange on the topic between Valsamis Mitsilegas and Jacob Öberg, hosted by the EU Law Discussion Group at the University of Oxford. It will conclude, with a conference organised by Valsamis at the School of Law and Social Justice, University of Liverpool, due to take place later this year [2023].


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