Lecturer in European Union Law

Co-ordinator of Festival of Creative Learning

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  • Tel: +44 (0)131 650 2050
  • Email: leandro.mancano@ed.ac.uk
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Dr Leandro Mancano is Lecturer in EU Law at Edinburgh Law School and Programme Director of the LLM in European Law. 

Leandro’s main research interests lie in EU Constitutional Law, EU Fundamental Rights Law, the law and policy of the EU Area of Freedom Security and Justice. He teaches and is course organizer of courses in EU Law (Hons), EU Criminal and Immigration Law (LLM) and EU Fundamental Rights Law (LLM).

Leandro’s publications focus on the interaction amongst different areas of European law and policy, such as crime, migration, and human rights. His first monograph analyses the legislative and judicial approach of the EU to deprivation of liberty in the fields of substantive and procedural criminal law, immigration, citizenship and free movement.

Before joining the University of Edinburgh, Leandro received his PhD from Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna (Pisa). He has been visiting researcher at Queen Mary University of London, Université Libre de Bruxelles and the University of Copenhagen. Leandro is a member of the European Criminal Law Academic Network (ECLAN).

Leandro is reguarly involved in public engagement, has drafted policy papers and provided evidence to Scottish institutions.

Courses Taught

Brexit: Legal Issues around an Exit from the EU (Honours)

EU Constitutional Law (LLM) (Course Organiser)

EU Criminal and Immigration Law (LLM) (Course Organiser)

EU Fundamental Rights Law (LLM) (Course Organiser)

European Union Law (Ordinary) A (Ordinary)

Responding to Global Crime and Insecurity (Msc)

Books and Reports

Leandro Mancano, The European Union and Deprivation of Liberty: A Legislative and Judicial Analysis from the Perspective of the Individual, (Hart Publishing, 2018)

Valsamis Mitsilegas, Alberto di Martino, Leandro Mancano, The Court of Justice and European Criminal Law: Leading Cases in a Contextual Analysis, (Hart Publishing, 2018)


Leandro Mancano, 'Storming the Bastille: Detention conditions, the right to liberty and the case for approximation in EU law', (2019), Common Market Law Review, Vol 56, pp 61-90
Abstract: Over recent years, detention conditions within the European Union (EU) have come under the spotlight as an issue of extreme relevance. Concerns about appalling standards of living in places of deprivation of liberty have emerged transversally in the area of freedom, security and justice (AFSJ).The risk that poor detention conditions result in inhumane and degrading treatment – prohibited by Article 4 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights (CFREU) - has served to limit the operation of secondary EU law. This has occurred in the framework of forced movement of persons as between member states, and has mainly called into question the level of protection ensured in the state where the person will be transferred. This may hold true for both asylum law and mutual recognition in criminal matters. While the broader debate on detention conditions has hitherto focused on Article 4, the impact on the right to liberty under Article 6 CFREU has been somehow underexplored. This paper submits that detention conditions must be studied from the perspective of the right to liberty,and makes the case for approximation of detention conditions at EU law level.

Leandro Mancano, 'Punishment and rights in European Union citizenship: Persons or criminals?', (2018), European Law Journal, Vol 24, pp 206-225
Abstract: While European Union (EU) citizenship has been traditionally key to limiting criminalisation at national level, over recent years crime has become a criterion to distinguish between the good and the bad citizen, and to allocate rights according to that distinction. This approach has been upheld by the EU Court of Justice in its case-law, where crimes show the offender disregard for the societal values of the host Member States, and deny her integration therein. This article argues that citizenship serve to legitimate criminal law. The Court outlines two – counter-posing - types of human being: the law-abiding citizen and the criminal. On that ground, the CJEU delineates a model of probationary citizenship directed towards the protection of the former category from the latter. The article shows the legal unsoundness of the Court’s approach. It does so by analysing and locating the case-law over a crime-citizenship spectrum, marked at its opposite ends by Duff’s communitarian approach to criminal law, on the one hand, and Jakobs’ criminal law of the enemy, on the other.

Leandro Mancano, 'Judicial harmonisation through autonomous concepts of European Union Law: The example of the European Arrest Warrant Framework decision', (2018), European Law Review, Vol 43, pp 69-88
Abstract: The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has been a key institutional actor to promoting legal integration within the EU. On many occasions, such a function has been performed to fill or supplement the harmonisation gap – intentionally or not – left by the Union legislature, especially in the context of secondary law. In this sense, an important tool resorted to by the CJEU to achieve closer integration, has been conferring the status of autonomous concept upon provisions of EU law, so reducing room for discretion of state authorities. Against this background, this article raises the following question: has the Court used the autonomous concept to pursue judicial harmonisation in areas where the main intention of the EU legislature was to preserve member states autonomy? The answer put forward in this research is in the affirmative. The hypothesis is tested by analysing the use of the autonomous concept in the context of the European Arrest Warrant Framework Decision (EAW FD), an instrument adopted in an area extremely sensitive to national sovereignty. By drawing on Tridimas’ distinction between outcome, guidance and deference cases, this article shows that the CJEU’s use of the autonomous concept in interpreting the EAW FD has had great potential in terms of harmonising effect.

Maria Fletcher, Leandro Mancano, 'Brexit and Scots Law: Policing and Criminal Justice', (2018), Edinburgh Law Review, Vol 22, pp 138-144

Leandro Mancano, 'Loic Azoulai, Segolene Barbou des Places and Etienne Pataut (Eds.), Constructing the Person in EU Law: Rights, Roles, Identities. Oxford: Hart Publishers, 2016. 344 pages. ISBN: 9781782259336. GBP 54.99. ', (2017), Common Market Law Review, Vol 54, pp 1245-1247

Leandro Mancano, 'The place for prisoners in EU law? ', (2016), European Public Law, Vol 22, pp 717-748
Abstract: In recent years, a territorially unbounded power to imprison individuals within the EU has been devel-oping. Such a dynamic has significantly impacted on EU citizenship law, which in turn has been strengthened by basing on residence the conferral of many rights. In this paper, I investigate what role prison and prisoners can have in EU law, with specific regard to EU citizenship. In order to answer such a question two scenarios are outlined, which embody the ways in which detention and Union citizenship have intertwined hitherto. Firstly are intersections between EU-grounded detention and EU citizenship. This group includes actual connections (as is the case of Wolzenburg Koslowski, Lopes Da Silva and I. B. CJEU’s decisions), as well as interplays which have not concretised yet (as shown by the Framework Decisions on transfer of prisoners and on probation measures). On the other, the mu-tual influence between state-grounded detention and EU citizenship. Recent CJEU cases such as Onuekwere and M. G. demonstrate that detention is capable of significantly affecting the rights pro-vided for by EU citizenship. By reading these two scenarios through the conceptual couple integra-tion/reintegration, I show strengths and weaknesses of the conditions of prisoners as EU citizens.

Leandro Mancano, 'The right to liberty in European Union law and mutual recognition in criminal matters ', (2016), Cambridge Yearbook of European Legal Studies, Vol 18, pp 1-24
Abstract: This article analyses the interaction between the application of mutual recognition in criminal matters and the right to liberty. The main argument is that the current content of the right to liberty in EU law is unsuitable for mutual recognition procedures. As for the structure of this article, firstly, the main features of mutual recognition as a method of inter-state cooperation in criminal matters are outlined. Secondly, the approach of the Union (especially the Court of Justice) to the right to liberty is clarified. Thirdly, four mutual recognition instruments are analysed in light of the right to liberty: namely, the Framework Decisions on the European Arrest Warrant, the Transfer of Prisoners, the Probation Measures and the European Supervision Order. The assessment confirms that the higher level of automaticity in judicial cooperation introduced by mutual recognition requires a rethink of the existing understanding of the right to liberty in EU law.

Leandro Mancano, 'Another brick in the whole: The case-law of the court of justice on free movement and its possible impact on European criminal law', (2016), Perspectives on Federalism, Vol 8, pp 1-20
Abstract: EU and criminal laws had been interacting in many ways even before the Union was conferred upon an explicit competence in criminal matters with the Treaty of Maastricht. Such intersections between supranational and national provisions frequently have been handled by the CJEU. Mostly, the intervention of the Court has been triggered by Member States’ recourse to penal sanctions in situations covered by EU law. In such cases, the CJEU is called upon to strike a complicated balance: it has to deal with Member States claims of competence in criminal law, by ensuring, at the same time, that that power is used consistently with EU law. By making reference to selected cases, this paper highlights the impact that principles established in the context of the fundamental freedoms can have on EU criminal law.

Leandro Mancano, Giuseppe Martinico, 'An Italian Tale of Two Courts. Decision No. 49/2015 of the Italian Constitutional Court and Its Relationship with Strasbourg ', (2016), Revista Española de Derecho Europeo, Vol 58, pp 199-216

Leandro Mancano, 'Criminal conduct and lack of integration in the society under EU citizenship: This marriage is not to be performed', (2015), New Journal of European Criminal Law, Vol 7, pp 53-77


Leandro Mancano, 'EU Citizenship and criminal convictions An insight into the United Kingdom approach' in Valsamis Mitsilegas, Alberto di Martino, Leandro Mancano (ed.) The Court of Justice and European Criminal Law (Hart Publishing 2018)

Leandro Mancano, 'A new hope? The Court of Justice restores the balance between fundamental rights protection and enforcement demands in the European Arrest Warrant System ' in Chloe Briere, Anne Weyembergh (ed.) The Needed Balances in EU Criminal Law (Hart Publishing 2017) 285–312
Abstract: The European Arrest Warrant Framework Decision (EAW FD) is the first and most prominent instrument of mutual recognition in criminal matters adopted by the European Union (EU). As is known, such a principle was firstly elaborated and applied in different contexts (the internal market and civil justice). In criminal justice, mutual recognition applies to judicial cooperation, and implies that a judicial order issued by one Member State to another Member State is recognised by the latter without further burdens or formalities, unless grounds for refusal apply. This principle is based in turn on the principle of mutual trust, according to which Member States are presumed to respect fundamental rights

Working Papers

Maria Fletcher, Leandro Mancano, 'Brexit and Criminal Justice ' 2016
Abstract: Position paper for the Standing Council on Europe