The evolving relationship between European criminal law and national constitutional law

AuthorValsamis Mitsilegas
Published date01 March 2018
Date01 March 2018
Subject MatterEditorial
The evolving relationship
between European
criminal law and national
constitutional law: Lessons
from the Taricco litigation
The Taricco litigation before the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) and the Italian
Constitutional Court has generated a number of fundamental questions about the relationsh ip
between European criminal law and national constitutional law and about the impact of EU law
on domestic criminal justice systems. The ensuing dialogue between the two Courts has resulted in
a considerable degree of mutual accommodation, while leaving a number of issues unresolved.
This issue brings together a number of contributions which examine critically and in detail the
many unresolved issues following the latest development in the Taricco litigation, the CJEU ruling
in the case C-42/17, M.A.S. and M.B.(orTaricco II) delivered on 5 December 2017. The trigger for
this special issue has been a ‘rapid reaction’ seminar on this ruling which was organized by the
Criminal Justice Centre at Queen Mary University of London and took place in London on 22
January 2018. The seminar brought together four leading criminal law academics from Italy –
Stefano Manacorda, Rosaria Sicurella, Francesco Vigano and Vittorio Manes, who also litigated
Taricco II in Luxembourg. We are fortunate to have secured the contributions of all four speakers
for this special issue, along with a contribution by one of the leading early career researchers in
European Criminal Law, Fabio Giuffrida (who is based at Queen Mary), and a contribution by
myself. The special commentary issue provides a number of important and critical insights on the
plethora of legal issues arising from the Taricco litigation. These include the scope and interpreta-
tion of the principle of legality in relation to limitation periods, the impact of EU harmonization on
the criminal law on PIF on domestic systems, and the impact of the Taricco rulings not only on
subsequent law and practice in Italy but also on subsequent case law in Luxembourg. But the
contributions grapple also with the broader and key issue of the relationship between European
criminal law and national constitutional law and the role that judicial dialogue plays in this context.
The Taricco saga has raised a number of fundamental questions regarding the applicability of EU
law constitutional principl es including primacy, effectiven ess and direct effect in the face of
serious constitutional objections at national level. The judicial dialogue in the Taricco litigation
has resulted in a remarkable degree of pragmatism and mutual accommodation between the Italian
Constitutional Court and the CJEU – however, contributions in this issue demonstrate in various
ways that many of the key underlying issues remain unsettled and that the emergence of fresh
constitutional and criminal law questions in view of the growing emphasis by the EU legislator on
the protection of the EU financial interests is only a matter of time.
Valsamis Mitsilegas
Queen Mary University of London, UK
New Journal of European Criminal Law
2018, Vol. 9(1) 3
ªThe Author(s) 2018
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DOI: 10.1177/2032284418761061

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