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Article
Publication date: 8 May 2018

Andries P. Swanepoel and Jacolize Meiring

Economic crime is a serious challenge to business leaders, government officials and private individuals in South Africa. Given the important role of law enforcement…

Abstract

Purpose

Economic crime is a serious challenge to business leaders, government officials and private individuals in South Africa. Given the important role of law enforcement, prosecution and sentencing in deterring economic crimes, the purpose of this paper is to determine if law enforcement, prosecution and sentencing practices are deemed to be adequate in South Africa.

Design/methodology/approach

Primary data from Web-based and manual questionnaires were used to empirically analyse the perceptions of sentenced economic crime offenders and role-players regarding the statement that law enforcement and prosecution practices of economic crimes relating to fraud, corruption or tax evasion in South Africa are not adequate. The final realised sample included a total of 345 from the various populations of key role-players and a total of 82 economic crime offenders from a Gauteng-based correctional institution. Mann–Whitney U tests were used to test for significant differences between the views of role-players and economic crime offenders.

Findings

The majority of both groups of respondents is of the opinion that law enforcement, prosecution and sentencing practices in South Africa are not adequate with regard to economic crime offences, although statistically significant differences exist in the degree of agreement. The challenge is therefore to prosecute more economic crime offenders by improving law enforcement, prosecution and sentencing practices. The study also revealed that people have a reluctance to speak out about fraud, corruption or tax evasion or to report such offences for various reasons.

Originality/value

The research assisted in identifying the challenges economic crime presents and the shortcomings in current law enforcement, prosecution and sentencing practices in South Africa.

Details

Journal of Financial Crime, vol. 25 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-0790

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 March 2001

R.E. Bell

‘Recovering the Proceeds of Crime’, a report by the Performance and Innovation Unit of the Cabinet Office, observed that, historically, there have been very few…

Abstract

‘Recovering the Proceeds of Crime’, a report by the Performance and Innovation Unit of the Cabinet Office, observed that, historically, there have been very few prosecutions for money laundering in England and Wales. Indeed, in the 12‐year period 1987 to 1998, there were only 357 prosecutions. By way of comparison, in 1995 there were 2,034 prosecutions for money laundering in the USA alone. Given that it is generally accepted there is a significant amount of money laundering in the UK, why is the number of prosecutions so low? There are, arguably, four principal factors which have an impact on the prosecution rate for any criminal offence and each of the four affects the prosecution rate for money laundering.

Details

Journal of Money Laundering Control, vol. 5 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1368-5201

Article
Publication date: 1 May 1981

Prosecutions under Criminal Law, associated in the minds of most people with “criminal offences” of a serious nature—“crime” in the traditional sense—and undertaken by the…

Abstract

Prosecutions under Criminal Law, associated in the minds of most people with “criminal offences” of a serious nature—“crime” in the traditional sense—and undertaken by the police authorities, constitute a very large and rather untidy body of public law. It includes a large and constantly growing number of offences in respect of which prosecutions are undertaken by various corporate bodies who, as in the case of local authorities, have a duty albeit with a power of discretion, to prosecute. There would appear to be little in common between such offences, as smoking in the presence of open food or failing to provide soap, nail‐brushes, etc, for food handlers, and the villainy and violence of the criminal, but their misdeeds are all criminal offences and subject to the same law. Other countries, such as France, have definite Criminal Codes and these offences against statutes and statutory instruments which in English Law are dealt with in the broad field of Criminal Law, are subject to special administrative procedure. It has obvious advantages. Although in England and Wales, prosecutions are undertaken by police authorities, local authorities, public corporations, even professional bodies and private individuals, with a few statutory exceptions for which the Attorney‐General's fiat or consent of the Director of Public Prosecutions is necessary, may instigate a prosecution against anyone if he can provide prima facie evidence to support it. In Scotland, prosecutions are instituted at the instigation of the various authorities by an officer, the Procurator‐Fiscal. Many advocate such a system for England and Wales, despite the enormous difference in the volume of litigation. Supervision of prosecutions on a much smaller scale is by the Director of Public Prosecutions, an office created in 1879, with power to institute and carry on criminal proceedings—this is the less significant of his duties, the number of such prosecutions usually being only several thousands per year—the most important being to advise and assist chief officers of police, clerks to the magistrates and any others concerned with criminal proceedings Regulations govern the cases in which DPP may act, mainly cases of public interest. The enormous growth of summary jurisdiction over the years, especially that arising from so‐called secondary legislation, is largely outside his sphere.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 83 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

Article
Publication date: 1 March 2000

R.E. Bell

A successful prosecution for a criminal offence requires a prosecuting authority to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a defendant possessed the requisite mens rea, or…

Abstract

A successful prosecution for a criminal offence requires a prosecuting authority to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a defendant possessed the requisite mens rea, or mental state, and that at that time he also committed the actus reus of the offence, that is to say those elements of the crime apart from the mental element. One of the most common features of the actus reus of money‐laundering offences across different legal jurisdictions is that the prosecution usually has to prove, inter alia, that the property which was the subject of the transaction was, as a matter of fact, the proceeds of crime. Some variations will however occur, in that in certain jurisdictions there may be a requirement to prove that the property is the proceeds of a particular predicate offence; in others it may be sufficient to prove that the property is derived from any form of criminal conduct. This paper examines the ways in which law enforcement authorities have attempted to prove this clement of a laundering offence, and concludes by making some suggestions for alleviating the difficulties inherent in doing so. Given that there have been relatively few convictions for money laundering in the UK, many of the examples are drawn from other jurisdictions, some of which have much greater experience of such prosecutions. Occasional examples are also drawn from civil forfeiture cases. While the standard of proof in such cases is that applicable in civil proceedings rather than the criminal standard applicable in money‐laundering prosecutions, such cases may nevertheless be useful so as to see the type of evidence adduced before the courts in order to prove that property is the proceeds of crime.

Details

Journal of Money Laundering Control, vol. 4 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1368-5201

Article
Publication date: 1 April 2006

Rosalind Wright

The paper aims to demonstrate the causes of failure of some fraud prosecutions.

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Abstract

Purpose

The paper aims to demonstrate the causes of failure of some fraud prosecutions.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper provides a review of common contexts within which prosecutions of allegations of fraud are brought and discussion of the factors which influence the prosecutor, the investigator, the defence, the trial judge and the fact‐finders.

Findings

Several factors are common to many fraud prosecutions which, taken together, make these cases difficult to try and to obtain convictions. Many fraud prosecutions fail because the egregious length of the investigation and trial process jeopardises the mental health of some defendants, preventing them from being tried at all. The mass of documentary evidence adduced can cloud the key issue of dishonesty. Excessive splitting up and “pruning” of the case with a view to making the trial shorter may obscure the essential elements of the case. Effective management of the trial process is sometimes lacking. Presentation of complex facts and egregious amounts of documentation to a lay jury can contribute to the inordinate length of the case and the proposition is made that an alternative tribunal, without a lay jury, may eliminate many of the factors which contribute to the failure of major fraud trials.

Practical implications

The conclusion is drawn that tribunals sitting without juries would have the effect of shortening the trial without lessening public confidence in the criminal justice system in this very limited class of case.

Originality/value

The paper draws together several key factors found in the author's experience as Director the Serious Fraud Office and as Chairman of the Fraud Advisory Panel which distinguish fraud prosecutions from any other types of criminal case and provides leads for improving future prosecution and trial technique.

Details

Journal of Financial Crime, vol. 13 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-0790

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 27 March 2020

Gloria Perez Torres

This study aims to investigate the impact of the enforcement of the international anti-bribery legal framework in developing countries.

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to investigate the impact of the enforcement of the international anti-bribery legal framework in developing countries.

Design/methodology/approach

It uses the PetroTiger case to examine the effects of foreign bribery prosecutions in Colombia, from a bribe-receivers perspective. PetroTiger is a USA-based company that was prosecuted for bribing public officials in Colombia. As a result, the public officials involved were also prosecuted in Colombia for receiving bribes. This case serves to illustrate how international anti-bribery law operates in practice and how it impacts Colombian law enforcement institutions and their capacity to prosecute bribe-receivers. The Colombian response to the international anti-corruption framework is examined in this study through the review of legislative efforts taken to address the problems of bribery and corruption in public procurement.

Findings

This study finds that enforcement of foreign bribery laws raise awareness of the situation of corruption in developing countries, generate parallel prosecutions of individuals at the receiving end of bribes and helps developing countries to develop technical expertise to fight corruption.

Practical implications

In practice, due to the transnational nature of foreign bribery, without international agreements, this type of corruption in international business would seldom lead to prosecution. Although the effectiveness of the enforcement of international anti-corruption law is debated, in reality, prosecutions of foreign bribery by developed countries have more positive than negative implications for developing countries.

Social implications

Assist to continue efforts to deter corruption.

Originality/value

No many studies have looked at the effectiveness of anti-corruption international law in developing countries. As indicated by Mr. Moulette Patrick head of Anti-Corruption Division at organisation for economic co-operation and development more research on the effectiveness of the UN enacted Convention against Corruption, which is what this paper does.

Book part
Publication date: 21 June 2005

Pamela Hobbs

This paper seeks to explain the jury’s verdict of acquittal in the bizarre case of eccentric millionaire Robert Durst, who was charged with the murder of Morris Black…

Abstract

This paper seeks to explain the jury’s verdict of acquittal in the bizarre case of eccentric millionaire Robert Durst, who was charged with the murder of Morris Black after Black’s body parts were found floating in Galveston Bay off the coast of Texas. Though an analysis of a portion of the defense’ closing argument, this paper examines the Durst defense team’s strategy of directing the jury’s attention to a single event – the confrontation that resulted in Black’s death – in order to effect a shift in focus that allowed them to use “reasonable doubt” to leverage their argument that the prosecution had not met its burden of proof. This paper demonstrates how this strategy acted to construct the “unreasonable doubt” that resulted in the jury’s verdict.

Details

Studies in Law, Politics and Society
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-327-3

Book part
Publication date: 10 December 2003

Lisa Hajjar

Utopia, a term first coined by Sir Thomas More in the sixteenth century, referred to a place of unattainable social perfection. But the appeal of a concept that embraces…

Abstract

Utopia, a term first coined by Sir Thomas More in the sixteenth century, referred to a place of unattainable social perfection. But the appeal of a concept that embraces rather than mocks the imagination has broadened its meanings and uses. In the early twentieth century, Anatole France wrote, “Out of generous dreams come beneficial realities. Utopia is the principle of all progress, and the essay into a better future.” In contemporary vernacular, utopia has come to refer not only to imagining perfection but cures for imperfection. By this definition, any struggle for rights could be conceived as utopian to the extent that it represents a desire to make the world a better place for the would-be beneficiaries. The utopianism of rights envisions conditions in which human dignity can be ensured and vulnerability minimized.

Details

Studies in Law, Politics and Society
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-252-8

Book part
Publication date: 4 May 2020

Verónica Michel

In a country where judicial institutions are known to be inefficient and where activists have traditionally not engaged in legal mobilization, what explains the emergence…

Abstract

In a country where judicial institutions are known to be inefficient and where activists have traditionally not engaged in legal mobilization, what explains the emergence of NGO strategic litigation? The author argues that a change in the legal opportunity structure impacts how activists interact with the legal system. Comparing two states in Mexico, the author demonstrates that the introduction of private prosecution rights opened the door for activists to litigate femicide cases. The emergence of strategic litigation has helped improve compliance with international human rights law and has had a demonstration effect on how to use the law to press for accountability.

Book part
Publication date: 17 December 2013

Robert J. Meadows

Prosecutors are politically elected officials entrusted with the sensitive responsibilities of prosecuting law violators. The strength and admissibility of evidence is…

Abstract

Prosecutors are politically elected officials entrusted with the sensitive responsibilities of prosecuting law violators. The strength and admissibility of evidence is tantamount to a successful prosecution, not politics, personal views, or other outside influences. And, the Supreme Court has ruled that prosecutors must ensure justice is achieved for crime victims and criminal defendants alike. However, outside influences, personal views, and other factors may influence a prosecutor’s leadership and decision making in some criminal cases. Since the office of prosecution is an elected position, their success is based on convictions whether achieved through plea bargaining or a guilty verdict at trial. This chapter examines criminal cases in which prosecutorial leadership strategies and decisions have circumvented justice in the name of politics or political correctness. The lack of evidence or withholding of evidence in these cases suggests that some prosecutors are more interested in personal or political interests rather than justice.

Details

Collective Efficacy: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on International Leadership
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-680-4

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