EU Criminal Law as a Ship of Fools

Imminent publication of a recent research paper

The Ship of Fools by Durer

In October 2019 I participated in a colloquium in Lund in Sweden (see earlier in the News Box) organised by Jacob Oberg of the Law Faculty at Lund University. I presented a paper in which I used Plato's metaphor of the Ship of Fools to elucidate the way in which EU criminal law had developed in a piecemeal and unsystematic way, with a number of parties hijacking the use of criminal law for disparate and debatable purposes, rather like the crew in Plato's ship. Subsequently, I collaborated with Jacob to develop that argument further and the outcome is an article soon to be published in the Maastricht Journal of European and Comparative Law : Harding and Oberg, 'The Journey of EU Criminal Law on the Ship of Fools: What are the implications for the supranational governance of EU criminal justice agencies ?' Jacob is editing a special issue of the journal, in which a number of papers from the Lund meeting will be published. So, some more, and maybe even some of my final reflections on the state of EU criminal law, as I prospect other kinds of research and writing. But I do love a good metaphor.