The European Public Prosecutor's Office

After years of debate, the Treaty of Lisbon introduced a legal basis for the introduction of a European Public Prosecutor’s Office in article 86 TFEU. This book examines those questions related to the way the Office may be embedded in the Union’s institutional structure.
Author(s):
Martijn Zwiers
Series:
Supranational Criminal Law: Capita Selecta
Volume:
12
book | published | 1st edition
October 2011 | xviii + 504 pp.

Paperback
€95.-


ISBN 9781780680293


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Details

After years of debate, the Treaty of Lisbon introduced a legal basis for the introduction of a European Public Prosecutor’s Office in article 86 TFEU. This provision indicates that the Council may establish this new Office from Eurojust, and that it will be competent to combat crimes affecting the financial interests of the Union and possibly serious cross-border crime. However, this provision leaves more questions than it answers. In particular those questions related to the way the Office may be embedded in the Union’s institutional structure are addressed in this book.

It comprises a broad discussion of the Member States´ prosecution services, the European Union´s institutional context, Eurojust, direct enforcement in the field of competition law by the European Competition Network, and proposals on the structure of the Office that were drafted prior to the entering into force of the Treaty of Lisbon.

It is concluded that the European Public Prosecutor’s Office will probably be constituted as a Council-oriented, multi-level network. It will likely consist of a European-level parquet that will exercise a measure of authority over national authorities. However, to an important extent it will depend on the national prosecution services and the national police forces for its actual investigative and prosecutorial activities. There will not be a US-style federal European Public Prosecutor’s Office and federal police force.

One of the key issues addressed in this book is the democratic accountability of the Office. It is defended that a semi-independent Office, placed under a duty to elaborate a comprehensive, transparent, and coherent prosecution policy in collaboration with the Council and other important stakeholders is the preferred model. The Office should be accountable to the Council and other political stakeholders for the proper execution of this policy, as well as its performance otherwise. Thus, both ex ante legitimacy, as well as ex post control of its activities may be ensured. However, it is especially shown that organising ex post control in an acceptable way will prove to be a challenge.

In addition, the author also addresses more detailed issues, such as choices to be made in respect to the mandate of prosecutors acting for the European Public Prosecutor’s Office and various decisions to be taken in relation to the pre-trial and trial courts.


About the book

‘The book contains a wealth of comparative information on the organisation of public prosecutors’ offices in Europe and give an impulse to the debate on the form of the European Public Proscecutor’s Office.’
JAD in 324 Ars Aequi, 2012

‘[a] very exciting thesis which shows how to solve a part of the equation posed by this […] Europe’
Xavier Pin in RTDeur 2013

‘[…] a welcome piece on a very interesting and present -day theme in EU criminal law. […] The presentation in the book is overall very systematic and reader-friendly and the author manages to present the different systems, their differences and research questions in an impressive way. The text is well written and easy to follow, and the shift between the chapters is logical, with the author providing some introductory information as well as comparative aspects which together with the conclusions serve as concluding remarks. All in all, the book is well structured, includes many conclusions on the way and it functions well as a whole. It manages also to include several important aspects that today are of utter importance, when the establishment of an EPPO is even closer.”
Annika Suominen in Eur L. Rev 2013

Chapters

Table of Contents (p. 0)

Chapter 1. Introduction (p. 1)

Chapter 2. Prosecution Service Models (p. 37)

Chapter 3. The Institutional Context (p. 153)

Chapter 4. Eurojust (p. 249)

Chapter 5. Competition Law Enforcement (p. 303)

Chapter 6. What Form of European Public Prosecutor’s Office for Europe? (p. 355)

Samenvatting (p. 481)

Bibliography (p. 485)

Curriculum vitae (p. 503)

About the series:

Supranational Criminal Law: Capita Selecta

The time that criminal law was pre-eminently a national matter is gone. Criminal law and criminal procedure is no longer solely a product of decisions made by national legislative bodies, applied by national police, prosecutors and judges. A new criminal law is developing which goes beyond separate nations: supranational criminal law.

One example of this development is the relatively young body of law concerning war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. Particularly essential to this development has been the establishment of the ICTY, the ICTR and the ICC, and of many internationalised tribunals all over the world. A second example of the development towards the supranationalisation of criminal law can be seen on a more regional level. In Europe for instance, the area of criminal law has become a prioritised field of co-operation in the third pillar of the European Union. These supranational criminal systems are criminal systems sui generis.

That at least is the presupposition of this series on supranational criminal law. The Supranational Criminal Law: Capita Selecta series contributes to this discussion from a theoretical, dogmatic point of view, working towards new, consistent and fair penal systems, crossing the borders of the old law families and traditions.

The series is edited by Dr. Roelof H. Haveman (editor-in-chief - Rule of Law Advisor, embassy of the Netherlands in Mali), Dr. Paul J.A. De Hert (Free University of Brussels, Belgium and University of Tilburg, the Netherlands) and Dr. Alette Smeulers (University of Tilburg, the Netherlands).

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