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Limits to EU Powers

A Case Study of EU Regulatory Criminal Law

By: Jacob Öberg
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Published: 27-07-2017
Format: PDF eBook (?)
Edition: 1st
Extent: 256
ISBN: 9781509903368
Imprint: Hart Publishing
Series: Hart Studies in European Criminal Law
RRP: £31.50
Online price : £18.90
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Loren Epson

About Limits to EU Powers

“…essential reading for anyone interested in the existence and exercise of EU powers in the field of criminal law. Öberg's critical examination of the constitutional constraints to EU action also raises many questions that are of great interest in other areas of EU competence. The book deserves a wide readership among scholars interested in the constitutional workings of the European Union.”
Samuli Miettinen, University of Helsinki & Tallinn University

"The main strength of this book lies in its comprehensiveness of dealing with the topical issue of EU regulatory criminal law from the fascinating perspective of limits to EU powers. Its particular contribution to existing scholarship in the field of EU criminal law concerns its focus on judicial checks on the exercise of competences as to which the book offers a convincing proposal for a stricter standard for judicial review in matters of regulatory criminal law and beyond."
Professor Jannemieke Ouwerkerk, Leiden Law School

"An excellent read on competence allocation in EU law and what it means in criminal law context. This book guides the reader through very complex questions of the contours of subsidiarity, national competences and the exact limits of EU powers. It also supplies up to date case studies of financial crimes and the need for the EU to act effectively and thereby increase confidence in the market and the challenges it may cause for national systems. A very timely contribution."
Ester Herlin Karnell, VU University Amsterdam

Pursuant to the precepts of EU law, EU policy-makers are bound to ensure that any EU legislation must fall within the remit of the EU's competences. This monograph looks at this highly contested issue, with particular reference to European Union criminal law. It looks at the powers enjoyed by the EU to impose criminal sanctions to suggest mechanisms by which legislative powers could be kept in check. The book argues that the main responsibility for providing checks against the exercise of EU power lies with the EU judiciary. It argues that the most effective form of review is procedural and through the case study of sanctions, provides the basis for such a review. Innovative, engaging and rigorous, this is an important publication both in the field of European criminal and constitutional law.

Table Of Contents

1. Introduction
I. The Question of EU Competence after Lisbon
II. The Problems of the Existing Limits to EU Competences
III. Main Arguments of the Book
IV. Case Study-EU Regulatory Criminal Law
V. Chapter Synopsis

Part I: A Framework for Legality Review
2. Principles Limiting the Exercise of EU Competences
I. Introduction
II. The System of Competence Monitoring
III. Principle of Conferral
IV. Principle of Proportionality
V. Principle of Subsidiarity
VI. Conclusions
3. Judicial Competence Review of EU Legislation
I. Introduction
II. The Link between Institutional and Conceptual Factors in Determining Intensity of Judicial Review
III. The Case for Strict Procedural Review
IV. The Court of Justice's Track Record on Procedural Review
V. Setting the Framework for a General Standard of Review and Test for Legality of EU Legislation
VI. Conclusions

Part II: Limits to EU Powers
4. Limits to the Union's Criminal Law Competence
I. Introduction
II. Limits to the Exercise of the Union's Criminal Law Competence Prior to the Lisbon Treaty
III. Limits to the Exercise of Express Union Criminal Law Competence after Lisbon Treaty (Article 83(2) TFEU)
IV. Conclusions
5. The Legal Basis for EU Criminal Law Legislation-A Constitutional Choice?
I. Introduction
II. The Relationship Between Article 83(2) TFEU and Article 114 TFEU with Respect to Criminalisation Measures
III. The Fight Against Fraud: The Relationship Between Article 325 TFEU and Article 83(2) TFEU
IV. Conclusions
6. Subsidiarity as a Constraint to the Exercise of EU Competences
I. Introduction
II. The Substantive Meaning of Subsidiarity
III. Judicial Review of Subsidiarity
IV. Case Study: The Market Abuse Crimes Directive
V. Conclusions
7. Political Control of EU Competences-National Parliaments in the Field of EU Criminal Law
I. Introduction
II. National Parliaments' Remit under the EWS Procedure
III. National Parliaments' Pursuit of Competence Control in Practice-The Yellow Card Against the EPPO Proposal
IV. Conclusions
8. Conclusion
I. Competence Control of the Exercise of EU Competences
II. Reconstructing the Limits of the Treaties
III. Epilogue: Future Prospects


“In these days of burgeoning specialist discussion and publication of what is now firmly embedded under the title 'EU criminal law', Jacob Oberg's book stands out as a distinctive contribution to the debates, with some real potential to drive forward policy and law.” –  Christopher Harding, European Law Blog

“[T]his book offers an informed and interesting contribution to the legal research in the field of European law, especially for the perspective of combining its constitutional analysis to the field of European criminal law, one of its recent areas of development and growth, but still a macro-area where tensions arise because the jus puniendi is at the core the State's powers over individuals.” –  Luisa Marin and Enrico Basile, Common Market Law Review

“Anyone who cares about the integration process and its legitimacy should consider the analysis offered within this book seriously. Hopefully, just as Öberg has considered the judicial scrutiny aspects related to the monitoring of EU powers, others in academia will concentrate on the lawmaking process part. Anyone interested in the foundations and limits of EU powers will find, in the analysis and proposals of this book, a great deal of food for thought.” –  Claudio Matera, University of Twente, New Journal of European Criminal Law

“[A]n excellent book which makes a significant contribution to the academic and policy debate on the development of EU criminal law within the Union's constitutional order. The book is particularly valuable in reframing the competence debate from analyses projecting upon the EU unrealistic expectations to copy national criminal justice systems to an analysis that examines, critically and thoroughly, the possibilities of EU action within the constitutional framework provided by EU law.” –  Valsamis Mitsilegas, Queen Mary University of London, Modern Law Review

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