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Is it legitimate for the criminal justice system of a state under the rule of law to be guided by the idea of prevention at all costs? Is this an efficient method of combating crime? Recent measures taken in the national and international scene to fight terrorism open a very broad area for consideration from this point of view, with a great deal of problems to be analyzed that have direct impact not only on Penal and Procedural Law, but also on other fields, such as Criminology, Constitutional Law, Philosophy or History of Law. On the other hand, the significant increase of citizen protest movements as a result of the economic and social crisis has also led in recent times to a general tightening of rules regarding breach of the peace offences, both as regards criminal and administrative penalties. On this basis, it is necessary to consider, among other issues, if we are not witnessing a distortion of the democratic concept of Public Order.

In both criminal areas to be studied (terrorism and breach of the peace crimes), which are closely interrelated in a variety of respects, it is possible to identify a relaxation of the criminalization border. This phenomenon closely corresponds to the modern criminal policy trends of promoting abstract endangerment and preparatory offences and of punishing them with heavy penalties. All this strains our legal and democratic principles and threatens the lawful exercise of fundamental rights which are on the basis of our democratic state model (freedom of expression and right of assembly).

Strengths of the project are: 1) Its research topic is timely and relevant. The project focuses on problems which are key challenges in the current political and social context and that are affected by recent and far-reaching legal reforms (Act 1/2015 and Act 2/2015 to amend the Criminal Code, Act 13/2015 to amend the Criminal Procedure Code and Act 4/2015 on the Protection of Citizen’s Security). 2) A broad research team, with a high level of research experience on these subjects, and with multidisciplinary and inter-university nature. 3) An international approach due to the focus topic and the composition of the team, which includes experts of foreign universities and research centers (Oxford University, New York University, Max-Planck Institut für ausländisches und internationales Strafrecht, Université de Paris-Est Créteil). 4) A practical perspective has been incorporated with the support of Law professionals and institutions taking part in the project, which are directly interested in the discussion and application and promotion of the results (prosecutors, judges, Governor of the prison of Valencia, Judiciary Police Officer, Legal Counsellor of the Victim Assistance Office). 5) Spirit of impact on society by proposing practical solutions to ensure an effective implementation of the Law, as well as safeguarding constitutional rights in relation to terrorism and breach of the peace crimes, from a lege lata and lege ferenda point of view.

Principal Investigator Alonso Rimo, A. (Associate Professor of Criminal Law, University of Valencia)

Research team members (in alphabetical order): Alonso Rimo, A. (Associate Professor of Criminal Law, University of Valencia); Bea Pérez, E. (Associate Professor of Philosophy of Law, University of Valencia); Borja Jiménez, E. (Professor of Criminal Law, University of Valencia); González Collantes, T. (Assistant Professor of Criminal Law, University of Valencia); González Navarro, A. (Associate Professor of Procedural Law, University of La Laguna); Mira Benavent, J. (Associate Professor of Criminal Law, University of Valencia); Moreno Alcázar, M. A. (Associate Professor of Criminal Law, University of Valencia); Rivera Beiras, I. (Associate Professor of Criminal Law and Criminology, University of Barcelona). 

Support team members (in alphabetical order): Ashworth, A. (Emeritus Vinerian Professor of English Law, University of Oxford); Campos Cristóbal, R. (Legal Counsellor of the Victim Assistance Office of Valencia); Cano Cuenca, A. (Prosecutor, Prosecutor’s Office of Valencia); Colomer Bea, D. (Assistant Professor of Criminal Law, University of Valencia); Ferrandis Ciprián, D. (Jugde, Criminal Court nº 2 of Tarragona); García Jabaloy, J. A. (Attorney and former Prosecutor at the National High Court); García Vidal, A. (former Director-General for Justice of the Government of the Community of Valencia and Judge); Jacobs, J. B. (Professor of Constitutional Law and the Courts, Director of the Center for Research in Crime and Justice, New York University); Martínez Martínez, M. A. (Head of the Social Integration Centre of Picasent (Valencia) and Former Governor of the prison of Valencia); Nacarino Lorente, J. M. (Judiciary Police Officer); Orts Berenguer, E. (Emeritus Professor of Criminal Law, University of Valencia); Rinceanu, J. (Senior Researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Criminal Law, lecturer in Procedural Law, Albert-Ludwigs-University, Attorney at law in Freiburg); Rolland, P. (Professor of Public Law, University of Paris-Est Créteil); Sandoval, J.C. (Lecturer in Criminal Law, University of Alicante) Suanzes Pérez, F. (Senior Prosecutor, Prosecutor’s Office of Galicia); Suárez-Mira Rodríguez, C. (Judge, Provincial Court of La Coruña Magistrado de la Audiencia Provincial de A Coruña); Villamarín Gómez, S. (Lecturer in History of Law, University of Valencia); Zedner, L. (Professor of Criminal Justice, Senior Research Fellow at All Souls College, University of Oxford).


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Start date
2016 December
End date
2020 December
Funding agencies:

Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities (DER2016-77947-R, AEI/FEDER, UE)

Project type
  • Challenge