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From Delphi to Brussels, The Policy Context: Crime Prophecy, Proofing, Assessment

NCJ Number
European Journal on Criminal Policy and Research Volume: 12 Issue: 3-4 Dated: 2006 Pages: 213-220
Nicholas Dorn; Michael Levi
Date Published
8 pages
This article explores the prediction of unintended consequences emerging from legislative regulations in the European Union (EU).
Legislative crime proofing in the EU consists of three main perspectives: (1) the broadest prospective; (2) impact assessment to reduce regulatory burdens on businesses; and (3) crime prevention and crime impact assessment. The broadest perspective means that crime proofing processes need to be simple and the language needs to be clear. The author notes that it is constructive to compare and contrast legislative crime proofing by using the Precautionary Principle, which concerns what may happen if legislative or other regulatory action is not taken and, in contrast, is taken. EU policymaking is based on the precautionary principle, yet without a specific reference to crime issues. The EU has taken an increasing interest in crime prevention over the past couple of decades, particularly in terms of organized crime and terrorism. The authors suggest that there is a need to clarify the relationship between legislative crime proofing and the broader Impact Assessment process. This is the case because Impact Assessment within the EU has taken on a decidedly security dimension and distinguishing between crime proofing and Impact Assessment will have implications for the methodologies adopted to examine the unintended consequences of legislative regulations. Footnotes, references


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