Punishment and Rights in European Union Citizenship: Persons or Criminals?

20 Pages Posted: 27 Jul 2018

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: May 2018


While European Union (EU) citizenship has traditionally been key to limiting criminalisation at national level, over recent years crime has become a criterion to distinguish between the good and the bad citizen, and to allocate rights according to that distinction. This approach has been upheld by the EU Court of Justice (CJEU) in its case‐law, where crimes show the offender's disregard for the societal values of the host Member States, and deny his/her integration therein. This article argues that citizenship serves to legitimate criminal law. The Court outlines two—counterposing—types of human being: the law‐abiding citizen and the criminal. The article shows the legal unsoundness of the Court's approach. It does so by analysing and locating the case‐law over a crime–citizenship spectrum, marked at its opposing ends by Duff's communitarian approach to criminal law, on the one hand, and Jakobs' criminal law of the enemy, on the other.

Suggested Citation

Mancano, Leandro, Punishment and Rights in European Union Citizenship: Persons or Criminals? (May 2018). European Law Journal, Vol. 24, Issue 2-3, pp. 206-225, 2018. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3220761 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/eulj.12279

Leandro Mancano (Contact Author)

Edinburgh Law School ( email )

United Kingdom

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