New Journal of European Criminal Law vol:4 issue:04 pages:481-505
W.G. Hart Legal Workshop location:University of London date:26-28 June 2012
After having eradicated the death penalty from its own territory about ten years ago, the EU shifted its focus towards retentionist states outside its borders. Given the importance of extradition and mutual legal assistance, the refusal of cooperation was a powerful tool to spread abolition beyond European shores. In the 21st century, however, the unstoppable growth of transnational mobility and communications has pushed traditional judicial cooperation to its limits. Transnational crime is flourishing and law enforcement simply cannot lag behind. In the framework of the “area of Freedom, Security and Justice”, the European Union started to create new forms of cooperation which simplify the burdensome procedures of traditional extradition and mutual legal assistance and which speed up the proceedings. The pragmatic new instruments make law enforcement practice easier: it is likely there will be a spill-over effect on cooperation between the EU or its Member States and third countries. The central thesis of this contribution is that this evolution is bound to lead to the demise or at least, the growing irrelevance of death penalty clauses as a tool in the EU’s fight against capital punishment.
Paper presented at the W.G. Hart Legal Workshop 2012, Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, University of London