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Towards a European Criminal Code?

NCJ Number
European Journal of Crime, Criminal Law and Criminal Justice Volume: 4 Issue: 1 Dated: (1996) Pages: 2-17
A Cadoppi
Date Published
16 pages
If Europe becomes a Federation of States comparable to today's Germany, the United States, Australia, or Canada, a common criminal code would not only be desirable but also feasible, if some precautions are taken.
An historical overview of the development of criminal law in Europe shows that it is possible to conceive of the drafting of a common criminal code for Europe, notwithstanding the two legal traditions that coexist in Europe (common law and civil law). Commissioners who would participate in this venture must relinquish their national and personal pride and work with the other representatives to achieve a common codification. In framing the code, the commissioners must take into account the various legal perspectives of the common and civil attorneys and draft the code sections as precisely as possible, especially in the fields where the two legal traditions might affect the application of the law in the future. Inevitably, there will be different interpretations of the law in different jurisdictions; this problem could be solved by establishing a common European High Court, whose precedents should be binding on inferior courts throughout Europe. In 6 or 7 years, a Draft European Model Penal Code could be ready. Even if a single code is not adopted for all European states, the model code could be used for the crafting of criminal codes in individual countries, so as to produce as much harmony as possible in the criminal laws of the various nations. 79 notes


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