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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 78648 Find in a Library
Title: Efforts for Uniform European Criminal Law (From Strafrechtsreform und Rechtsvergleichung, P 144-170, 1979, Hans Luettger, ed. See NCJ-78642)
Author(s): T Vogler
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 27
Sponsoring Agency: Walter de Gruyter & Co
1 Berlin 30, Germany United
Sale Source: Walter de Gruyter & Co
Genthiner Str 13
1 Berlin 30,
Germany (Unified)
Language: German
Country: West Germany (Former)
Annotation: Problems connected with establishment of uniform criminal law in Europe and efforts to initiate a common legal basis are discussed.
Abstract: The increased border traffic among European countries, the growth of international business activities, and the mobility of terrorists have made the need for supranational regulation apparent. Projection of certain countries' laws on others is not feasible because of the organic manner in which the legal codes have developed in separate cultures. At the same time, creation of new laws for the whole area is hindered by the lack of suitable institutions at a supranational level: the various organs of the European Community are not empowered to legislate or enforce pan-European laws. Working out a model European penal code is virtually impossible because of the diversity of opinion on such essential matters as what constitutes an offense. Even if such a code were written, no uniform supranational organization exists with power to enforce the code. However, efforts are underway to develop European standards and penalties in certain areas of common interest such as environmental protection and data storage and use. Traffic problems are already regulated by a European convention established by a special committee of the Council of Europe. Other committees are considering resolutions on control of drug abuse and white-collar crime. For example, procedural law, guarantees minimum rights for the accused, and judgments in absentia, are also subjects of study by European organizations. Even if uniform criminal laws are unlikely in the immediate future, the European countries are united in their efforts to combat crime and to see that criminals receive their due. Agreements have been reached on the validity of sentences throughout Europe, on rules for determining which State is responsible for international offenders, on extradition, on legal assistance, and on the assumption of criminal prosecution powers. But the agreements have done little to unify criminal law, and the chances of expanding the agreement system are slight. Still, the changed attitudes toward crime, toward the death penalty and short-term sentences, and toward victims has led to adoption of similar reforms throughout Europe. Furthermore, the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Basic Freedoms has provided certain fundamental standards. Many countries have brought their internal laws into line with the Convention because it allows for uniform application of a wide variety of national laws. A European area of legal jurisdiction must be created if the European Community is to become a political rather than just an economic union. Notes are supplied.
Index Term(s): Council of Europe; Criminal codes; International agreements; International cooperation; International law; International police activities; Law reform; Western Europe
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