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The EU Area of Criminal Justice

An introduction to police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters; an approximation to legislation and the establishment of EU actors.

Course description

After an introduction devoted to the evolution of the institutional and decisional framework of police cooperation and judicial cooperation in criminal matters, the course covers the most important elements of the EU Area of criminal justice: police cooperation, judicial cooperation in criminal matters (particularly the most important mutual recognition instruments in criminal matters such as the European Arrest Warrant), approximation of legislation (with a focus on some criminal serious transnational offences, such as terrorism) and the establishment of EU actors (including the European Public Prosecutor office).

Learning objectives

  • To know the basic objectives and main components of these policies
  • To know the specificities of the institutional framework of these policies
  • To understand the methods used by the EU institutions to implement these policies
  • To be informed of some of the last important policy developments and/or future perspectives

Learning outcomes

  • To acquire a fair global knowledge and understanding of the subject of the course
  • To be aware of the main legal and political issues/challenges at stake in the area


  • Ex cathedra presentations
  • Analysis in class of documents like directives or regulations, Commission communications, conclusions of (European) Council, decisions of the Court of Justice.
  • Interactive discussions about the content of these documents regarding their precise meaning but also place in the concerned policy.
  • Readings of these documents are expected to be done by the participants before the courses in order to facilitate the discussion.

Course requirements and grading

  • To have a basic knowledge of the main principles and legal instruments of EU Law in the field.
  • To have in particular a general understanding of the institutional framework of the European Union and the way it functions.
  • To be present at the courses is highly recommended due to the complexity of the area and the difficulty to prepare the exam without having participated to the courses.
  • The exam will be written and based on the critical analysis of a document and/or a simple practical case to solve.

Academic Integrity

Participants are expected to abide by all MEUS academic rules. In particular, any evidence of plagiarism or cheating will be sanctioned by a 0/20 on the final evaluation.

cooperation in criminal mattersAnne Weyembergh (Belgium) is Professor at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) and President Emeritus of the Institute for European Studies of the ULB. She founded and co-coordinates the European Criminal Law Academic Network (ECLAN) since November 2004.

She is a Member of the Académie Royale des Sciences, des Lettres et des Beaux-Arts de Belgique (since 2017 – Classe des Lettres et des Sciences morales et politiques).

She has coordinated numerous research projects: IEE-ULB/Jean Monnet Center of Excellence, focusing on solidarity in the EU (Sept. 2016 – Sept. 2019); GEM-STONES (Globalisation, Europe and Multilateralism – Sophistication of the Transnational Order, Networks & European Strategies), including Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (2016-2020).

She is currently co-supervising (with John Spencer and Nicky Padfield, University of Cambridge) a project addressing the impact of mutual recognition in criminal matters on the right to liberty in Europe, financed by the Wiener-Anspach Foundation (2016-2018). She acted as an academic expert in various research projects for Committees of the European Parliament, most of them concerning EU criminal law.

She is one of the chief editors of the New Journal of European Criminal Law (NJECL) as well as one of the general editors of the EU Criminal Law series of Hart Publishing. She is a Member of the Editorial Board of the Cahiers de droit européen (CDE) as well as a member of the scientific committee of the Revue belge de droit international (RBDI).

Evaluation Method

The evaluation is based on:


The grading will be based on the participation/interaction in the course and on an essay of maximum 4000-5000 words.

This course in numbers

Class time and credits

18 Total hours of lectures
2 Credits (ECTS) awarded

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