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Financial Services and Criminal Proceedings

On 20 March 2018, the European Court of Justice (the “ECJ”) handed down four judgements in response to requests for preliminary rulings on the interpretation under European law of the so-called ne bis in idem principle, i.e. the right not to be tried or punished twice for the same offence, also known as double jeopardy.

The cases at issue concerned the imposition of administrative sanctions (i.e. fines and bans on holding office) and criminal sanctions (i.e. fines and imprisonment) on the same individuals in the context of securities market manipulation, insider dealing and non-payment of VAT, and may consequently be of interest to anyone working in the financial services industry.

The ECJ’s approach provides helpful clarification on the scope of recent case law from the European Court of Human Rights (the “ECtHR”). A more detailed overview of the legal background, the disputes in question, the analysis of the court and why it matters is provided in this download. Those with a more limited interest in the subject matter are invited to jump directly to the key takeaways, which also cover impending Brexit considerations.