There is a trend within the EU Member States to introduce criminal sanctions for cartel activity. Such criminalisation must respect the human rights of the accused. Unfortunately the literature on cartel criminalisation pays scant regard to the investigation of human rights issues. A comprehensive analysis of the impact of the principle of legal certainty (Article 7 ECHR) upon cartel criminalisation in the EU Member States is conspicuously absent from the literature. This article rectifies this deficiency by examining how this particular principle of European human rights law may impact upon the concept, substance and existence of a criminal cartel offence.