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Organised crime in English criminal law: Lessons from the United States on conspiracy and criminal enterprise

Sergi, A (2015) 'Organised crime in English criminal law: Lessons from the United States on conspiracy and criminal enterprise.' Journal of Money Laundering Control, 18 (2). 182 - 201. ISSN 1368-5201

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Abstract

© 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited. Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to consider the rationale behind the approaches to organised crime in criminal law to understand the basis of the law on conspiracy in England and Wales and why this country has refused to amend conspiracy in favour of a membership offence or a criminal enterprise model, similar to the USA’s offences. Design/methodology/approach – The analysis is based on a legal comparison between the law of conspiracy in England and Wales and the USA’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) statute, as example of best practice targeting criminal enterprises. The legal comparison is also substantiated by case law examples and interviewees with prosecutors and lawyers collected both in London and in New York City. Findings – After briefly describing how the two systems (English and American) are intended to work, the paper will develop a discussion on the difficulties and advantages of introducing a RICO-style legislation in England and Wales and shall conclude that it is the way organised crime is socially perceived in the English/British scenario that justifies the choice to remain on the level of conspiracy and not move towards membership/enterprise offences. Research limitations/implications – This study shall be primarily intended as an opportunity to assess the criminal law tools in the fight against organised crime available in England and Wales. The comparative side of this research, the RICO statute, would require more attention which this paper cannot give for reasons of brevity. Therefore, the study is a preliminary study in comparative criminal law. Originality/value – The central idea of this work is to suggest that differences in criminal law are based on different perceptions of the wrongfulness of the offending. For the law to change in favour of a criminal enterprise offence in England and Wales, there is a need to reshape the wrongfulness of organised crime. A study into the wrongfulness of organised crime as a criminal offence, with a comparative outlook, has never been conducted before in England and Wales.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
K Law > KD England and Wales
K Law > KF United States Federal Law
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Sociology, Department of
Depositing User: Anna Sergi
Date Deposited: 06 Sep 2016 14:54
Last Modified: 27 Apr 2019 08:15
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/16388

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