- Legal definitions of organized crimes
- Criminal association
- Definitions in the Organized Crime Convention
- Criminal organizations and enterprise laws
- Enabling offence: obstruction of justice
Published in April 2018
Regional Perspective: Eastern and Southern Africa - added in April 2020
This module is a resource for lecturers
Research and independent study questions
a) Given the different legal traditions of Member States of the European Union, there initially was very little agreement related to combating organized crime. In the EU, there are three approaches to criminalizing organized crime: a) civil law approach that consists of criminalizing participation in a criminal association; b) common law approach based on conspiracy, i.e., an agreement to commit a crime, and c) the so-called Scandinavian approach that rejects "criminal organization" offences and relies instead on the general provisions of criminal law (e.g. complicity, aiding and abetting). The EU's 2008 Framework Decision, which sought to find a compromise between diverse legal traditions, has been criticized. How have the EU's policies evolved in the context of criminalizing organized crime? What is the current legal basis for establishing minimum standards for the definition of criminal offences and sanctions in the areas of serious crime, particularly with a cross-border dimension?
b) On 21 November 1980, Genovese crime family boss Frank "Funzi" Tieri was the first mafia boss to be convicted under the RICO Act. Discuss the significance of this case for the development of a legal response against organized criminal groups in the United States and other countries.
c) Compare the excerpts of legislation provided in the Module (for the United States, Ireland, and Italy) and review additional national legislation available from SHERLOC Database of Legislation, such as relevant legislation in your country. Identify the differences and similarities between these legal texts and discuss whether they follow any of the models of criminalization of participation in an organized criminal group discussed in the Module.