EU criminal law and the republican need to harden principles into rules

Paul De Hert, Julia Muraszkiewicz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


So much has been written about Brexit. The EU legislative machine seems to be spurring all the energy devoted to this ongoing divorce procedure undesired by at least one of the two parties involved. In times such as these, there is space for a more reflective editorial, that briefly goes back to a classic chapter in legal education and theory, which deals with norms, rules, and principles. We have an array of principles in criminal law: the principle of legality, the rule of law, strict inter- pretation, ne bis in idem, presumption of innocence, the list goes on.1 But what are they again? Are they the same as rules? Assuming there is a difference between the two concepts, why discuss them in the European criminal law context? Should we leave clarifying principles to judicial lawmak- ing? Lastly, and importantly for 2017, how can they help us?
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)277–283
Number of pages7
JournalNew Journal of European Criminal Law
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • legal theory

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