Principle of efficiency in the criminal law of the European Union


  • Rasa Volungevičienė



Principle of efficiency, efficiency, effective criminal law, EU criminal law


Traditionally criminal law has a national character and reflects national values and goods –its relationship with national sovereignty remains very close until present days.  Nevertheless, in today’s globalisation age the criminal law in EU is examined with regard to possibility to ensure effectiveness of EU aims and politics. Criminal law requires not to use notions which are not clear: neither of legal acts nor of legal practises. Therefore, it is very important to describe the boundaries of this principle because the principle of effectiveness serves as a distinguishing sign between national criminal law and EU law in competence matters.

This article focuses on the principle of effectiveness in EU criminal law. Nowadays it is usually understood as doctrine of effectiveness or one of the most important principles in EU. The principle of effectiveness is directly linked to the effectiveness of criminal sanctions - the ability by the means of punishment to ensure the proper implementation of Union policies.  It is necessary to use criminal sentencing theories, which can be used as a tool to assess the effectiveness of penalties, to test the ability of criminal sanctions to act in a preventive manner by achieving future-oriented objectives ensuring the implementation of the principle of effectiveness in EU criminal law. The EU criminal justice system will only be effective if it is based on the common values of the Union, for which proportionate sanctions were used in the same way, refusing the template transposition of directives to the national law, and avoiding the illusion of balance and efficiency of national legal systems.


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How to Cite

Volungevičienė, R. (2021). Principle of efficiency in the criminal law of the European Union. Law Review, 1(23), 109–129.