Increasingly, we read about INTERPOL’s involvement in international investigations, especially those involving crimes against children, human trafficking, financial fraud, and drug trafficking. In addition, we are hearing about the concept of cyberwarfare as the possible precursor to an actual war. Origins of European Law Apart from Ireland and the United Kingdom, the legal systems of most European countries are based on Roman law. Roman law consists of three books of law: (a) people, (b) property, and (c) acquiring property. The first category refers to issues such as marriage. Property issues relate to ownership, which, in Roman times, included slaves. Acquiring property includes wills and laws of succession. Under Roman law, the plaintiff was required to call the defendant, or sometimes force the defendant, to come to court. The magistrate then decided whether the case should go before the Judex , a group of prominent laymen, who in Roman times heard arguments, questioned witnesses, and then made a decision. The concept of the summons originated in Roman times, as did the role of the court in enforcing court sentences.
Structure of European Union Law The European Union (E.U.) consists of 27 countries, each with its own sovereign laws. These countries are as follows: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. The European Union is similar to the United States because it has a dual legal system in place: each country has (1) its own laws and (2) E.U. law. However, there some notable differences in the composition of both entities. The European Union is a treaty with member states. Any state can leave this union at any time without consequence, which is certainly not the case in the United States, as demonstrated when states in the South tried to secede from the Union in 1861. E.U. Legislature The E.U. legislature is comprised of the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union. These institutions have the power to write, amend, and repeal laws. The European Commission is similar to the Office of the President of the United States, in that it is the executive body of the E.U. However, the European Commission has the power to propose legislation and initiate legal proceedings against member states. The Court of Justice of the European Union interprets European law, related to its treaties, and is the highest court in the European Union. This court is the equivalent of the U.S. Supreme Court and is made up of the Court of Justice, the General Court, and a number of specialized courts. Data Privacy E.U. law clearly protects the rights of an individual to protect personal data more than the U.S. legal system does. In the United States, very few laws protect an individual’s personal information.
You've reached the end of your free preview.
Want to read all 72 pages?