Historically, modern, tougher forms of proceeds from crime confiscation developed during the 1980s as a response to the huge profits gained by ‘mafia-type’ organisations from a variety of criminal conducts. This background has influenced the subsequent debate, both at the policy-making level and within the scientific community, with the result that to date attention has concentrated mainly on the removal of assets illicitly acquired by means of such conduct. Only more recently has the focus started to shift from these crimes to a crime type comparable with the former in terms of the magnitude of profits and societal harm: corruption. The aim of this article is to determine the point currently reached by the process of extending to white-collar criminals – that is, corrupt public officials – the extremely severe forms of confiscation originally designed to combat organised crime. It is structured as follows. First the revival of confiscation as a key element in any modern strategy against crime is discussed, together with the rationale for the current debate on whether the attention should now shift from organised crime to corruption. The international and European standards developed to date to confiscate the proceeds from corruption are then discussed, as well as their level of transposition into national legal systems within the EU (both current MSs and candidate ones). A particularly interesting case study - i.e. Italy - is then examined in order to explore historical developments on the issue within a country that, on the one hand, pioneered modern confiscation policies and, on the other, is affected by alarming levels of corrupt behaviour. Some conclusions are finally drawn, with discussion of whether or not the widely-reported invisibility of crimes committed by the “respectable” holds true also as regards confiscation policies.

Going beyond the confiscation of proceeds from organised crime activities: stripping away ill-gotten gains from corruption in the enlarged Europe

Vettori, Barbara;
2011

Abstract

Historically, modern, tougher forms of proceeds from crime confiscation developed during the 1980s as a response to the huge profits gained by ‘mafia-type’ organisations from a variety of criminal conducts. This background has influenced the subsequent debate, both at the policy-making level and within the scientific community, with the result that to date attention has concentrated mainly on the removal of assets illicitly acquired by means of such conduct. Only more recently has the focus started to shift from these crimes to a crime type comparable with the former in terms of the magnitude of profits and societal harm: corruption. The aim of this article is to determine the point currently reached by the process of extending to white-collar criminals – that is, corrupt public officials – the extremely severe forms of confiscation originally designed to combat organised crime. It is structured as follows. First the revival of confiscation as a key element in any modern strategy against crime is discussed, together with the rationale for the current debate on whether the attention should now shift from organised crime to corruption. The international and European standards developed to date to confiscate the proceeds from corruption are then discussed, as well as their level of transposition into national legal systems within the EU (both current MSs and candidate ones). A particularly interesting case study - i.e. Italy - is then examined in order to explore historical developments on the issue within a country that, on the one hand, pioneered modern confiscation policies and, on the other, is affected by alarming levels of corrupt behaviour. Some conclusions are finally drawn, with discussion of whether or not the widely-reported invisibility of crimes committed by the “respectable” holds true also as regards confiscation policies.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11588/893975
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