Over the past twenty-five years, the European Union has developed a far-reaching legal regime aimed at countering money laundering. The evolution of this regime has been linked inextricably with the parallel development of global standards in the field, most notably by the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering (FATF). This article will critically evaluate the content of EU anti-money laundering law, by putting forward a comprehensive typology of the EU anti-money laundering regime as outlined in the successive EU Anti-Money Laundering Directives and consisting of three elements: the criminalization of money laundering and terrorist finance; the prevention of money laundering via the imposition of a series of duties on the private sector; and the focus on financial intelligence, via the establishment and co-operation of financial intelligence units responsible for receiving and analysing reports received from the private sector. The article will examine the evolution of EU law as regards all elements of anti-money laundering law, by focusing in particular on the changes brought forward by the post-Lisbon Fourth Money Laundering Directive. The article will cast light on the influence of the FATF in shaping these standards and will highlight the impact of the ever expanding EU antimoney laundering legal framework on fundamental rights and the rule of law.
Maastricht Journal of European and Comparative Law
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