The European Anti-Fraud Office (Office de lutte anti-fraude, OLAF) was created in 1999, in the wake of the political crisis which led to the collective resignation of the European Commission. It has operated for more than ten years in a specific legal and institutional environment, which, in turn, has been affected by the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon. The latter put an end to the pillar structure of the EU, turned the Charter of Fundamental Rights into a binding legal instrument and laid the foundation for the establishment of a European Public Prosecutor's Office (EPPO). Starting from the broader context of the protection of EU financial interests and touching upon the circumstances surrounding OLAF's creation, the book provides an in-depth analysis of OLAF's position in this environment. Particular attention is given to: - OLAF's investigative competences and right to privacy issues raised by the exercise of these competences; - the rights of the defence of persons under investigation; - the consequences of the specific organisational structure of OLAF which is both a part of and independent from the European Commission, and - supervision of OLAF, including by the EU courts through judicial review of OLAF investigative acts. The book also speculates on how OLAF and the EPPO could interact, should the latter be established. Although an EPPO will be established from Eurojust, part of its competences will be of an investigative nature, which it will exercise in the same legal and institutional environment as OLAF. Therefore, an understanding of OLAF appears essential for comprehending and interpreting the (investigative) competences of the EPPO, including the way in which judicial review of acts adopted by the EPPO should be effectuated. On the other hand, it appears beyond doubt that the establishment of the EPPO will fundamentally affect the functioning of OLAF. The book provides insights which can be useful in the context of both the upcoming discussions on the reform of OLAF and the future discussions on the establishment of the EPPO, as well as gives legal practitioners an overview of the relevant legal issues related to OLAF investigations. The book takes account of developments until January 2011. Nevertheless, insofar as the book discusses Commission proposals on the reform of OLAF, the analysis equally applies to the Commission proposal of 17 March 2011 (COM(2011) 135 final), the provisions of which appear to correspond either literally or in substance to those included in the Commission’s 2006 proposal (COM(2006) 244 final) referred to in the book. Born in Antwerp (Belgium) in 1964, Jan F. H. Inghelram has a law degree from the University of Leuven (Belgium, 1987) and an LL.M. degree from the University of Virginia (USA, 1989). After having practised as an Attorney at the Brussels Bar in the law offices of De Bandt, Van Hecke & Lagae, he worked, from 1992, as an Administrator and later as a Principal Administrator in the Legal Service of the European Court of Auditors. Since 2001, he has been seconded to the European Court of Justice where he works as a référendaire, first for Advocate General J. Mischo, then for Judge C. W. A. Timmermans and currently for Judge S. Prechal. He is the author of several publications on EU Finances, the European Court of Auditors and the European Court of Justice. The views expressed in the book are entirely personal.
Europa Law Publishing; June 2011
- ISBN: 9789089521019
- Read online, or download in secure PDF format
- Title: Legal and Institutional Aspects of the European Anti-fraud Office (OLAF)
- Author: J. F. H. Inghelram
Imprint: Europa Law Publishing