A New Test for Mens Rea? Safeguarding Legal Certainty in a European Area of Freedom, Security and Justice

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Legal Certainty is considered a prerequisite for a fair criminal justice system in all European legal orders. The principle of mutual recognition puts this principle at a risk, for instance, by abolishing the dual criminality requirement. The paper analyses different remedies for this problem, and argues for a solution in substantive law: A new test for mens rea, which rests on the establishment of a reasonable duty to learn and be aware of foreign laws. Thus, the risk of ignorance of foreign laws no longer rests with the individual alone.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5235/219174411798862622

Publication date: December 1, 2011

More about this publication?
  • This is a new journal dedicated to the development of European Criminal Law and the co-operation in criminal matters within the European Union. In these areas the Lisbon Treaty has supposedly brought about the most important changes and also the greatest challenges for the future. It is the journal's ambition to provide a primary forum for comprehensive discussion and critical analysis of all questions arising in relation to European Criminal Law. It will include articles and relevant material on topics such as:

    ‧The harmonisation of national criminal law in consideration of European legal instruments,

    ‧The implementation of the principle of mutual recognition in the area of cooperation in criminal matters and the development towards the creation of a European Public Prosecutor

    ‧The emergence of a balanced European Criminal Policy based on fundamental rights, freedom and democracy with particular reference to the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union and the European Convention on Human Rights.

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