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An analysis with a look forward to a European public prosecutor's office

30 May 2011

PhD ceremony: Mr. J.F.H. Inghelram, 16.15 uur, Academiegebouw, Broerstraat 5, Groningen

Title: Legal and institutional aspects of the European Anti-Fraud office (OLAF). An analysis with a look forward to a European public prosecutor's office

Promotor(s): prof. J.H. Jans, prof. C.W.A. Timmermans

Faculty: Law

 

The European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF), created in 1999 in the wake of a political crisis, has operated for more than ten years in a specific legal and institutional environment, which, in turn, has been affected by the Treaty of Lisbon. Inghelram’s dissertation provides an in-depth analysis of OLAF’s position in this environment. Particular attention is given to OLAF’s investigative competences and related right to privacy-issues; the rights of the defence of persons under investigation; the consequences of the specific organisational structure of OLAF which is both a part of and independent from the European Commission; and the supervision of OLAF, including by the EU courts through judicial review of OLAF investigative acts.

Starting from this analysis, the dissertation also examines how OLAF and a European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO), the creation of which has been made possible by the Treaty of Lisbon, could interact. A short-term conclusion drawn from this analysis, based on the application of four tentative criteria of adequate supervision to all forms of supervision over OLAF, is that judicial review by the EU courts is the only form of supervision which fulfils all four criteria, provided interim measures can be obtained in relation to OLAF investigative acts. Long-term conclusions reached in the dissertation relate to judicial review of the acts of an EPPO, which is argued to be a matter for both the national and EU court systems, and to the position of OLAF if an EPPO is established.

 

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