In this article, I will explain the relationship between English and European criminal law. In addition, I will discuss the key concepts underlying the two systems: objective criminal liability, accusatorial and inquisitorial criminal proceedings, and effective, proportionate, and dissuasive sanctions. I will also discuss why the criminal justice systems differ so drastically. The main difference between the two systems is that they apply different concepts to the same type of crime.
Relationship between English and European criminal law
Common-law countries such as England and Germany have similar criminal laws, but there are significant differences. While common-law nations often share the same principles, the law in the United States and England is much more similar to continental European law than previously believed. These differences are a result of centuries of diverging legal traditions, although there are still similarities. This article explores some of those differences and how they affect English and European criminal law.
Objective criminal liability
Objective criminal liability has been discussed in the context of the Union system for many years. The concept gained full citizenship in the Union system at the start of the nineties. A changed sensibility AG would have provided a basis for further debate on its problematic position and its relationship to basic canons of criminal responsibility assessment. However, the concept of objective criminal liability did not gain full citizenship in the European legal system until a case brought by Danish company Aalborg Portland in 1999 reduced the fine levied by the Commission.
Inquisitorial and accusatorial criminal procedures
Inquisitorial and accusatorial methods of trial are often contrasted. The former is a traditional contest model of justice, with the accused subjected to a thorough investigation by a judge. The latter focuses on the fact-finding process, which involves the use of evidence, to make a decision. The former, on the other hand, focuses on the role of the prosecutor, who has the final say regarding the evidence.
Effective, proportionate, and dissuasive sanctions
Punishments are fundamental elements of criminal justice, and the doctrines of effective, proportionate, and dissuasive sanctions are the cornerstones of criminal law. However, they play an important dual role, serving both a remedial and dissuasive purpose. Economic penalties, for example, are appropriate for punishing economic actors, but other types of punishment are equally effective dissuasives.
Relationship with minors
In some jurisdictions, sexual relations with minors are criminalized. The age of consent, or the minimum age, must be fixed, and there should be special circumstances that make it illegal to engage in such activities. In addition, any sexual contacts with minors while in an authority relationship should be illegal. In such cases, criminal proceedings should be instituted ex officio, or upon the filing of a complaint, rather than being initiated ex nihilo.