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Criminalising Organised Crime: The Need For Special Laws

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Chapter Summary

Organised crime poses significant challenges to the criminal justice system. It operates on a sustained basis and larger organisations operate independently from individual persons. The structure and strength of organised crime transcends its membership. This chapter explores the scope of contemporary criminal law and discusses the need-if any-to extend criminal liability further in order to prevent and suppress organised crime more effectively. Absence of one or more elements of an offence does not automatically void criminal responsibility. So-called inchoate liability and secondary liability have been developed to extend criminal responsibility beyond the paradigm of individual commission of completed offences. The difficulties of criminalising certain members of criminal organisations and the roles they occupy within the criminal hierarchy are well illustrated in a number of prominent cases.

Keywords: criminal law; inchoate liability; organised crime; secondary liability

10.1163/ej.9789004180451.i-430.10
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