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The Effectiveness of EU Law: Insights from the EU Legal Framework on Asset Confiscation

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image of European Journal of Crime, Criminal Law and Criminal Justice

Based on an institutional and legal mapping of the field across Europe, this article explores the different barriers to the effectiveness of the EU’s regime on the recovery and confiscation of proceeds of crime. The aim is to provide a better understanding of the challenges that arise in this field and suggest possible areas of legal or policy intervention. But it is also — using the example of asset confiscation — to contribute to debates about the effectiveness of the EU’s legal strategy in building a genuine area of freedom, security and justice. The article argues that, despite the adoption of new legislation in this field and the stronger institutional framework introduced by the Treaty of Lisbon, the effectiveness of the EU’s action is unlikely to significantly improve. The legal rules still present a number of deficiencies and the emphasis on formal legal solutions has come at the expense of broader questions of transposition and utilisation, which are however crucial to ensuring effective recovery.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Sociology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK ; 2: King’s College, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK, Corresponding author


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