Procedural Rights in the Outskirts of Criminal Law: European Union Administrative Fines

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Series Details Volume 22, Number 4
Publication Date 2022
ISSN 1461-7781
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The article analyses the application of criminal-head guarantees to European Union legislation requiring Member States to lay down rules on administrative fines. EU legislation requiring Member States to stipulate administrative fines for breaches of EU law has been on a steady increase. The proliferation of such sanctions with little harmonisation of applicable procedural safeguards opens doors for misuses of punitive power.

The first part of the article analyses the application of the Engel criteria and the Jussila exception for offences falling short of the hard-core of criminal law. The article highlights the discrepancies in the case law and suggests an alternative to the moral stigma approach in applying the Jussila exception. The second part of the article assesses whether the case law of the ECJ provides similar results and to which extent has the Union’s legislator harmonised or precluded procedural safeguards regarding administrative fines.

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