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The nullum crimen, nulla poena sine lege principle and its restrictions in the case-law of the European Court of Human Rights



Subject and Keywords:

European Court of Human Rights   European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights   rule of law   no punishment without law   Nuremberg clause   statutory lawlessness


Nullum crimen sine lege literally translated as „no crime without law” is one of the pillars of the rule of law principle which is pivotal in the European system of protection of individual rights. It serves as a safeguard for individuals against arbitrary violation by the acts of public authority. Due to its fundamental nature, provision of the European Convention on Human Rights encapsulating discussed rule cannot be derogated. At the same time, the Convention allows for some restrictions in its use. This refers mainly to situations where an act is not punishable in the legal order of the state, while being prohibited by the international law. This paper provides an overview of the European Court of Human Rights case-law as well as acquis of the doctrine devoted to the abovementioned issue.

Place of publishing:



Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Wrocławskiego

Date issued:


Date copyrighted:



ISSN 2084-5065   ISSN 0239-6661


pol   eng


Nowa Kodyfikacja Prawa Karnego, ISSN 2084-5065, t. 28, 2012, s. 269-283

Is version of:

Czasopisma Naukowe w Sieci (CNS)

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Rights holder:

Copyright by Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Wrocławskiego Sp. z o.o.

Autor opisu:

WR U/PAdbg