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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 218174 Find in a Library
Title: Rule-Making, Rule-Breaking?: Law Breaking by Government in the Netherlands and the United Kingdom
Journal: Crime, Law and Social Change  Volume:46  Issue:3  Dated:2006  Pages:133-159
Author(s): Leo W.J.C. Huberts; Andre J.G.M. van Montfort; Alan Doig; Denis Clark
Date Published: 2006
Page Count: 27
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study examined rule-breaking and unlawful conduct by governmental bodies using the Netherlands and the United Kingdom as case examples.
Abstract: The study results reveal that rule breaking by government bodies is not primarily related to the individual that breaks the rules. Instead, the motives and conduct of the individual rule breaker are intertwined with the environment within and outside the government body. The analysis indicates that a number of factors are conducive to rule breaking by governmental bodies: (1) gaps between different governmental levels; (2) level of supervision of rule compliance and the likelihood of being punished for ruling breaking conduct; (3) the political influence on the execution of tasks by civil servants; (4) the culture of governmental bodies; and (5) the level of unification with society. The findings illustrate that higher governmental levels of contact with the outside world create susceptibility to rule violations due to selective treatment and favoritism. The findings suggest that it is not possible to remedy rule breaking by removing the individual violator. Structural solutions must be undertaken, including juridical monitoring, integrity policies, rule and law enforcement policies, and the development of watch-dog programs. A number of recommendations are offered that include the advice for administrative bodies to proactively and systematically accept responsibility for addressing rule breaking. The research drew on data from several datasets, including statistics from the Dutch Public Prosecutions Department, information about investigations by three National Inspectorates into rule breaking by private and public actors, and case studies of two municipalities and one province into rule and law breaking. Future research should continue to build knowledge concerning government rule breaking and effective strategies to prevent such misconduct. Table, references
Main Term(s): Case studies; Corruption of public officials
Index Term(s): Netherlands; United Kingdom (UK)
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