Ne bis in idem – a continuing judicial dialogue

Introducing the EU Charter had an enormous impact on fundamental rights protection, ne bis in idem and the outcome of the well-known Åkerberg Fransson saga that eventually prohibited double proceedings and punishments with respect to value added tax.
At the same time, judicial interaction between national and European courts played a significant role throughout this saga. Given the various developments on national, EU and European levels, one of the remaining questions is whether judicial interaction can provide an answer to complex legal and practical issues relating to the overlapping of fundamental rights sources in general, and ne bis in idem in particular, pending any further EU harmonising measures. As a result of this analysis, we conclude that courts are instrumental not only in the settlement of individual disputes, but also in changing the legal system.