Conclusions: European Criminal Law—Justification and Restrictions

  • Merita Kettunen
Part of the Comparative, European and International Criminal Justice book series (CEICJ, volume 2)


The general justification for the existence and use of European criminal law is the protection od human dignity. The ECHR regime imposes on the contractíng parties an obligation to use criminal law measures and to ensure effective procedural rights to tackle crime that infringes the principle of human dignity. EU criminal law is more utilitarian and consequentialist from its surfacing premise as its justification is to enhance the Member States’ ability to tackle cross-border crime effectively. Subsequently EU criminal law enhances the Member States’ sovereignty this way. Naturally, EU criminal law should not contradict the general framework of the ECHR regime since all of the EU Member States are parties to the ECHR as well. Even though the ECHR regime aims to effective realization of Convention rights by utlizing the dynamic interpretation of the Convention, the regime ultimately protect the deontological reasons for the very existence of the Convention. The EU criminal law also needs to follow the EU-level criminalization principles in order to be legitimate.

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland and G. Giappichelli Editore 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Merita Kettunen
    • 1
  1. 1.HelsinkiFinland

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