Editorial 11 December 2023
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This article outlines the targeted amendment of the PIF Directive proposed in the Commission’s legislative initiative for a Directive on Combating Corruption, which was tabled in May 2023. The targeted amendment seeks to align the PIF Directive with the standards set out in said anti-corruption proposal. The areas of alignment are sanctions for natural and legal persons, aggravating and mitigating circumstances, and limitation periods. The amendment is designed to ensure respect for the principle of equivalence and effective protection of the EU’s financial interests, as laid down in Art. 325 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.Read more
Non-Imputability of Certain Legal Entities and Lack of Methodology When Applying the Transfer of Criminal Liability between Corporations
Systems theory has been criticized in literature on the analysis of organizations and groups of people. Its weaknesses include the lack of ontological support and the absence of evidence demonstrating the validi-ty of its premises. Since Spain incorporated the criminal liability of legal entities into its criminal code as a means of combating corporate crime and corruption, however, the Spanish Supreme Court has been resorting to systems theory to determine when a legal person should be punished.
This article analyzes the serious practical problems that this approach entails, especially when certain complex legal-criminal issues are being dealt with. In addition to the conflicts that arise concerning the principle of legality, systems theory lacks a solid methodology to resolve two questions that emerge in corporate reality: 1) determination of the non-liability of certain legal entities, and 2) clarification of the (in)appropriateness of the criminal punishment of legal persons resulting from and arising … Read more
This article sketches the legal background and institutional history that has led the EU Commission to propose a Directive on Combating Corruption. It outlines the role the future directive shall play in the context of other EU tools, including those belonging to the 2023 anti-corruption package. The article looks at the objectives of the proposed anti-corruption directive, which are threefold: (1) consolidating the existing anti-corruption rules into one single legal act; (2) building up an effective integrity system through awareness-raising campaigns as well as research and education programmes in order to mitigate incentives for corruption; (3) facilitating the effective investigation and prosecution of corruption cases by ensuring sufficient resources as regards staff and dedicated investigative tools. Lastly, the article explains the potential future impact of the envisaged directive on the national anti-corruption frameworks, both in terms of repression and prevention.Read more
Editorial Guest Editorial eucrim 3-2023
Dear Readers, The Group of States against Corruption (GRECO), of which I have been President since 2012, was established in 1999 as the anti-corruption monitoring body of the Council of Europe. The Council of Europe acted as a pioneer when it made fighting corruption one of its priorities for international cooperation nearly 30 years ago. Today, GRECO’s 48-country membership comprises the Council of Europe member states as well as the United States of America and Kazakhstan. Being a member of GRECO is a commitment to the proactive fight against corruption and other forms of misuse of power. Over the years,… Read more
A New Try for European Minimum Rules in Criminal Proceedings?
This article seeks to provide arguments in support of legislative action on mutual admissibility of evidence and electronic evidence in criminal proceedings at the EU level. To this end, it will first describe the status quo and then the main features of a corresponding proposal recently tabled by the European Law Institute. In the light of this proposal, the author explains why Member States should reconsider their traditional stance against any EU initiative on evidentiary rules in criminal proceedings. Ultimately, especially in this new digital era, the best solution to prevent the inadmissibility of cross-border evidence is to adopt a set of minimum rules.Read more
Exploring an Under-the-Radar Area
The intense debate over the past few years on access to data for criminal investigations has led to the adoption of the E-evidence package. Yet, electronic evidence is no less crucial for punitive administrative proceedings. One administrative investigation authority that could benefit from more extensive access to electronic evidence is OLAF, which, at this point, does not seem to have the power to request data from service providers. Such powers could be essential, however, for the detection and investigation of fraud or corruption. This article argues the need for a general and thorough reflection on access to electronic evidence from Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in administrative punitive proceedings. It also discusses the transfer of this type of evidence between administrative and criminal proceedings (in both directions) in order to more specifically justify an extension of OLAF’s powers to be able to request such evidence.Read more