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Benedetta Arrighini

GEM-DIAMOND doctoral fellow

ESR 11 – Legal contestation on the rule of law and its impact on EU cooperation in criminal matters with third parties: EU-MERCOSUR

Always interested in Criminal Law and European Law, with a special focus on External relation, I found my perfect combination with my research project: Judicial Cooperation in Criminal matters within Third States-the case of EU and MERCOSUR.
I will discuss about the impact on the rule of law in the field of the EU’s international agreements, as the one with MERCOSUR.
Legal contestation on this topic is fundamental to aware the EU the importance of the rule of law, and to improve the concept of dissensus in the EU democracy.

Host Institutions

‘Legal contestation on the rule of law and its impact on EU cooperation in criminal matters with third parties: EU- MERCOSUR’


  • Anne Weyembergh
  • Paula Almeida

Research abstract

The research is first of all a legal contestation, meaning a discussion, on a legal basis, on the rule of law impact in a very specific issue: the judicial cooperation in criminal matters within EU and MERCOSUR countries.
In few words: will the EU take into consideration the rule of law once concluded the MERCOSUR agreement dealing with judicial cooperation?

Research questions

Is there any consideration of rule of law in judicial cooperation in criminal matters with MERCOSUR?
Emphasis on Extradition and possible solution related to transitional justice study.

1. Focus on agreements and program with MERCOSUR countries:
a. Mercosur agreement, 2019: is it an incomplete association agreement?
b. El Pacto Program, 2021: which type of instrument is it?

2. What is the respect of ‘rule of law’ for the EU? And for MERCOSUR countries? What are the differences?
3. Concerning cooperation in criminal matters: What is the use of extradition? What is the EU’s attention on penitentiaries’ conditions?
4. Is the EU legitimate in completing agreements with countries which do not respect the rule of law?
Is transitional justice a suited instrument to increase the role of the rule of law?
Benedetta Arrighini is a law graduate at the University of Trento with a thesis in International Criminal law under the supervision of Professor Gabriele Fornasari: Kosovo Specialist Chambers and Specialist Prosecutor’s Office, origin, development and perspective of an hybrid tribunal. In this research she compared the transitional justice model of South American countries with the Kosovo’s future process. The thesis was published as a book in 2021.

During university she did a traineeship at the European Parliament, working in CULT and ECON Committees. Moreover she was an Erasmus Student in the Law faculty of Montpellier/1. While she was writing her thesis, she did a traineeship with the think tank Osservatorio Balcani Caucaso e Transeuropa in which she wrote article about the EU-Western Balkans relations. After graduation she started legal practice in Criminal law.

In 2021-2022 she was an L.L.M student at the College of Europe and she wrote a thesis in European Criminal Law under the supervision of Professor John A.E. Vervaele discussing the Foreign Terrorist Fighters’ Directive and the impact on the right to a fair trial and the presumption of innocence.

She was accepted as GEM DIAMOND Fellows in the Research Position 11, supervised by Professor Anne Weyembergh (ULB) and Professor Paula Almeida (FGV).