The Taricco saga

AuthorStefano Manacorda
Published date01 March 2018
Date01 March 2018
Subject MatterOpinions
The Taricco saga: A risk or
an opportunity for
European Criminal Law?
Stefano Manacorda
Professor of Criminal Law, Universita
`della Campania ‘Luigi Vanvitelli’, Italy; Visiting Professor, Queen Mary University, UK
On 8 September 2015, a new chapter opened in the history of European Criminal Law as a
consequence of the judgment issued by the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Justice in
the Taricco case. As a background hereto, the complex series of judicial decisions that have taken
place must be recalled, by stressing the role played – among others – by the Italian Constitutional
Court and the European Court of Justice (I). On such a basis, a comparative overview will allow us
to identify some of the essential legal dilemmas at stake by focusing on the different conceptions
surrounding the legal regime of time limitation for criminal offences and the wider implications
arising therefrom (II). Apart from the divergence of perspectives which arises between the Italian
and European judges, the judicial saga represents a turn in the history of the so-called European
Criminal Law which deserves to be analysed.
Principle of legality, Non-retroactivity principle, Time limitation regime, Value-added tax frauds
The main episodes of the Taricco saga
The preliminary questions: The legal regime of interruption of time limitation
The Taricco judgment stemmed from a request for a preliminary ruling submitted to the European
Court of Justice (ECJ) by an Italian criminal judge of the north-western province of Cuneo. A case
was pending before this judge concerning Value-added tax frauds evasion in relation to the trade of
champagne. The accused were charged with tax offences, as well as with conspiracy to commit a
crime, due to the seriousness and scale of the fraud, allegedly involving more than three people and
the establishment of an organization. Th e Italian judge was confronted in particu lar with the
following issue: Some changes had occurred in Italy in relation to the time limitation regime as
Corresponding author:
Stefano Manacorda, Universita
`della Campania ‘Luigi Vanvitelli’, Italy.
New Journal of European Criminal Law
2018, Vol. 9(1) 4–11
ªThe Author(s) 2018
Reprints and permissions:
DOI: 10.1177/2032284418760927

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT