Confiance mutuelle, reconnaissance mutuelle et crise de valeurs: la difficile équation entre justice pénale européenne et diversité nationale

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Table of Contents: I. Introduction. – II. La confiance mutuelle face aux violations des valeurs européennes. – II.1. La mise en place de la confiance mutuelle dans la coopération judiciaire pénale comme base constitutionnelle de la reconnaissance mutuelle. – II.2. L’exception d’ordre public à la reconnaissance mutuelle: entre ordre public national et ordre public européen. – III. La valeur commune d’État de droit fondement de la confiance mutuelle et moteur d’une (nouvelle) justice pénale européenne. – III.1. La notion d’autorité judiciaire dans le cadre du MAE. – III.2. L’exigence d’une protection juridictionnelle effective. – IV. Remarques conclusives.

Abstract: This Article discusses the impact of the Court of Justice’s case law on EU criminal justice through the prism of mutual trust and mutual recognition. EU criminal justice is one of the fields of EU law that rapidly develops. Such developments can only happen within a context of mutual trust between EU Member States and, more particularly between national judicial authorities. In this respect, it is essential that these authorities abide by the common values upon which the EU is founded. Although these values are not clearly defined in the Treaty, the Article reveals how the Court of Justice actually shapes cooperation in criminal matters. Two distinct (r)evolutions are taking place. Firstly, in exceptional circumstances, the Court of Justice allows judicial authorities to refuse the execution of foreign decisions that seriously undermine a fundamental right which, for its part, gives expression to a common value. The exceptional circumstances doctrine operates like a judicial sanction against States which do not respect the EU values. Secondly, a quieter revolution is underway through the application to criminal matters of the doctrine of autonomous concepts of Union law. While defining essential concepts of criminal justice, the Court of Justice also defines certain common values. The message here is preventive. If a Member State wishes to benefit from effective judicial cooperation, it must make sure that its criminal justice system respects EU values. If a criminal justice system remains an instrument of the nation State necessary for the protection of domestic values, as soon as it enters the European sphere national values, however, it must align with European values.

Keywords: criminal justice – mutual trust – mutual recognition – common values – fundamental rights – judicial authorities.

European Papers, Vol. 5, 2020, No 3, pp. 1271-1288
ISSN 2499-8249 - doi: 10.15166/2499-8249/425

* Professeur assistant, Université d’Utrecht,


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