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NCJ Number: 200239 Find in a Library
Title: International Cooperation Against Transnational Organized Crime: Criminalising Participation in an Organized Criminal Group (From UNAFEI Annual Report for 2000 and Resource Material Series No. 59, P 417-428, 2002, -- See NCJ-200221)
Author(s): Matti Joutsen
Date Published: October 2002
Page Count: 12
Sponsoring Agency: United Nations Asia and Far East Institute for the Prevention of Crime and Treatment of Offenders
Tokyo, Japan
Sale Source: United Nations Asia and Far East Institute for the Prevention of Crime and Treatment of Offenders
26-1 Harumi-Cho, Fuchu
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This document discusses the criminalization of conspiracy and participation in an organized criminal group.
Abstract: The United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (the Palermo Convention) requires states parties to criminalize either conspiracy or participation in an organized criminal group. For the purposes of the Palermo Convention, conspiracy is defined as intentionally agreeing with one or more other persons to commit a serious crime for a purpose relating directly or indirectly to the obtaining of a financial or other material benefit, and involving an act undertaken by one of the participants or involving an organized criminal group. Participation means the person knows the aim and general criminal activity of the group in question, and takes an active part in the organization. There has been significant criticism of the concepts of conspiracy and participation in an organized criminal group. First, the concepts are ambiguous and confusing, particularly if juries are involved. Second, the concepts violate the principle of legality, which requires definition of precisely what acts, or omissions constitute criminal conduct. Third, this ambiguity raises concerns regarding legal safeguards, such as ensuring the defendant knows exactly what conduct he or she is charged with having committed. Fourth, the ambiguity also raises concerns that the concept will be used to expand the scope of criminal behavior to an unacceptable extent. Fifth, the concept of conspiracy has been used to convert innocent acts into felonies. The concern is that over-zealous prosecutors may abuse the concepts. In the hands of trained investigators and prosecutors, the concepts of conspiracy and participation in an organized criminal group can be highly useful tools in the efforts of the criminal justice system to come to grips with organized crime. 18 footnotes
Main Term(s): Conspiracy; International agreements
Index Term(s): Crime Control Programs; International cooperation; International law; Organized crime; Organized crime prevention; Social network analysis
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