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Ultima Ratio in European Criminal Law

Keywords: Criminlogy , Criminal law , EU criminal law , ultima ratio principle , principle of subsidiarity , the legitimacy of criminal law , Derecho penal , derecho penal de la Unión Europea , principio de ultima ratio , principio de subsidiariedad , legitimidad del derecho

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Abstract:

The ultima ratio principle is one of the most well known traditional principles of criminal law. The principle has emphasized the repressive nature of the criminal justice system and positioned it as the last resort of the legislator. The principle has been developed mainly in legal scholarship with a national undertone, while criminal law has traditionally been seen as a pronouncedly national branch of law. However, criminal law has recently been strongly internationalized and Europeanized. This development necessarily needs to affect the principles that legitimate the use of the criminal justice system. There is a need for developing principles that could legitimate criminal law (cooperation) that surpasses the national level. The article, thus, examines whether there is a role for the ultima ratio principle in European criminal law. The main focus is on EU criminal law. The article suggests that there are several signs of recognizing the ultima ratio principle in EU criminal law. The principle is recognizable in the principle of subsidiarity, within which ultima ratio may have a federal dimension. Most of all, the principle of proportionality shares several similarities with the ultima ratio principle. If these dimensions were fully examined and utilized, there is a possibility that legitimizing principles for EU criminal law could be formulated at considerable depth. El principio de ultima ratio es uno de los principios tradicionales más conocidos del derecho penal. El principio ha puesto en relieve el carácter represivo del sistema de justicia penal y se ha convertido en el último recurso del legislador. El principio se ha desarrollado principalmente en la comunidad académica legal con un trasfondo nacional, mientras que el derecho penal se ha concebido tradicionalmente como una rama marcadamente nacional del derecho. En los últimos a os, sin embargo, el derecho penal se ha internacionalizado y europeizado en gran medida. Esta evolución necesariamente tiene que afectar a los principios que legitiman el uso del sistema jurídico penal. Existe la necesidad de desarrollar principios que podrían legitimar el derecho penal (cooperación) más allá del ámbito nacional. El artículo, por lo tanto, examina si el principio de ultima ratio puede jugar algún papel en el derecho penal europeo. El artículo se centra en el derecho penal de la Unión Europea. El artículo sugiere que hay varios indicios para reconocer el principio de ultima ratio en el derecho penal de la Unión Europea. El principio es reconocible en el principio de subsidiariedad, en el que el ultima

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