This chapter examines issues surrounding the right of access to and limits on evidence dossiers in civil law systems. It first provides an overview of the general aims pursued by the law in regulating the parties’ right of access to the investigative file before discussing supranational sources, such as the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and the case law of the European Court on Human Rights (ECtHR). In particular, it explores how the jurisprudence of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) and certain directives adopted by the European Union on the right to information by defendants and by victims has influenced the criminal procedures of EU Member States. It also analyzes disclosure at the International Criminal Court (ICC) and concludes by explaining how civil law systems have changed in recent years, what their common features and shortcomings are, and how they could be improved.
This chapter examines the concept of actus reus as a basic, essential component of criminal liability. It considers a range of recent scholarly interpretations of actus reus and the extent to which they are supported in the case law, with particular reference to the Canadian and U.S. jurisprudence. It discusses minimalist and maximalist interpretations of actus reus, the first of which conceives of actus reus on the basis of whatever the legislature has decided to criminalize and the second of which restricts criminal liability to positive acts. The chapter looks at approaches that interpret actus reus based on two factors: a person’s “control” over the prohibited outcome or conduct, proposed by Husak, and the person’s practical reasoning, proposed by Duff. The chapter argues that both minimalist and maximalist views of actus reus conflict with well-established features of the criminal law.
Appeal and Cassation in Continental European Criminal Justice Systems: Guarantees of Factual Accuracy, or Vehicles for Administrative Control?
Stephen C. Thaman
This chapterexamines appeal and cassation as procedural vehicles for challenging criminal judgments rendered by trial courts in five European countries: France, Germany, Italy, Russia and Spain. More specifically, it considers whether appeal and cassation serve as guarantees of factual accuracy in criminal judgments or as vehicles by which the high courts exercise administrative control over the work of lower courts. The chapter first provides an overview of the hierarchical model of criminal procedure in the civil law system before discussing the structural and philosophical differences between Continental European (civil law) and common law systems. It also describes how appeal and cassation have developed from their classical forms and concludes with an analysis of how they function today, noting that acquittals seem to receive enhanced scrutiny on appeal and cassation in European jurisdictions.
Jacqueline E. Ross
This chapter identifies a management problem in the regulation of undercover operations and terms it the problem of “upstream defection” by a “rogue principal,” in contrast to the better-known problem of the faithless agent (known as the “agency problem”) or “downstream defection.” orThe chapter first considers some of the features of undercover operations that bring undercover agents into conflict with investigative teams and supervisors and that can make undercover agents vulnerable to upstream defection, either real or imagined. It then highlights the distinction between the risks of betrayal facing undercover agents and those facing informants, as well as the differences between real and perceived “betrayals” and the analytical and evidentiary difficulties of distinguishing between them. It also discusses some of the regulatory devices employed by French and German law enforcement agencies to reduce the differences in outlook between undercover agents and other members of the law enforcement team, in order to mitigate the conflicts that can produce both real and perceived forms of defection within the chain of command.
John Jackson and Paul Roberts
This chapter offers a critique of the “common law model” of the Law of Evidence and calls for a new organizing principle that “reimagines” evidence law as forensic science, particularly in the context of criminal adjudication. It first provides an overview of the orthodox common law model of Evidence Law before deconstructing it, arguing that it adopts a very narrow doctrinal focus, thus undermining the dynamic processes through which evidence is collected, organized, presented, tested, and evaluated in legal proceedings. It also suggests that the model is difficult to defend in terms of robust disciplinary boundaries differentiating that which is specifically evidentiary from broader aspects of substantive and procedural law. Finally, it considers the so-called “New Evidence Scholarship” on evidence law, the impact of the new cosmopolitanism on common law evidence, and the rationale for reconceptualizing evidence law as part of an interdisciplinary “forensic science” that goes “beyond common law.”
This chapter examines the role of causation in criminal law and especially as a central ingredient of criminal responsibility. It first discusses whether results should matter in the determination of legal and moral responsibility before considering causation within the contexts of criminal law and tort law. It highlights the ambivalence surrounding the use of the words “causation” and “cause” in many legal orders and goes on to explore what constitutes a cause and the philosophical debate about the causal relata—the objects connected by the causal relation. Some of the common problems in standard accounts of causation, particularly counterfactual dependency (sine qua non, but for), are also reviewed. The chapter concludes by summarizing a number of approaches to restrict factual causation, including those relating to proximity, the notion of “harm within the risk” or “harm within the scope of the rule violated,” “ordinary hazards,” intervening causes, and culpability.
Challenges of Trial Procedure Reform: Is European Union Legislation Part of the Solution or Part of the Problem?
Helmut Satzger and Frank Zimmermann
This chapter examines the impact of European Union legislation on trial procedure reforms in EU Member States’ national criminal justice systems. It first considers the harmonization of procedural rights in the EU from the initial concept of mutual recognition, focusing on the legislative efforts to strengthen the rights of suspects and accused persons as well as the rights of victims in the trial phase, before discussing European rules for the admissibility and assessment of evidence. It then uses the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO) as an example to highlight the potential impact of supranational institutions on national trial proceedings. It shows that the criminal trial itself is subject to European influences, noting that the EPPO-Regulation contains some rules for the preliminary question of where the trial will take place.
This chapter analyses the pervasive impact of the Charter on the Canadian criminal justice system. Active judicial interpretation of Charter rights has put in place distinctive constitutional standards of substantive law, including those of fault, and struck down oppressive laws for arbitrariness and overbreadth. Also examined are new standards for police powers to stop, search, detain and interrogate, fair trial rights such as the duty of full Crown disclosure, and for assessing mandatory minimum sentences. This chapter describes and welcomes a robust exclusionary discretion for evidence obtained in violation of the Charter. It is suggested that the Canadian Charter standards are no panacea and are sometimes too weak but that they have often provided a welcome balance to the expedient lure of law-and-order politics.
This chapter examines the codification of criminal law by focusing on the theory and practice of codification in England and the United States. The aim of the chapter is to widen the focus from a discussion of what are claimed to be the immediate benefits of a project of codification to raise some broader issues about the meaning and functions of codification of the criminal law. It considers how codification might contribute to values such as liberty by analyzing its relationship with modernity and discusses the immediate benefits of codification. It also highlights the tension between the liberalism and authoritarianism at the heart of the modern codification project and concludes by assessing the function of a penal code.
Colonial Criminal Law and Other Modernities: European Criminal Law in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries
Markus D. Dubber
This chapter reflects on various traditional approaches to the historical study of European criminal law in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. It examines several ways of naming and framing the subject matter, along with ways of ‘covering’ it along a set of by now fairly well-established narrative paths that generally reflect a quietly reassuring Whiggishness. It then lays out an alternative, two-track, conception of ‘modern’ European criminal legal history. It does this by taking an upside-down—or outside-in—view of the subject, by focusing on an understudied, but fascinating, project of European criminal law: the invention, implementation, and evolution of colonial criminal law.