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UNODC offers workshop on criminal liability of legal persons

San Jose, 25 October 2019. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime for Central America and the Caribbean (UNODC) and the Public Prosecutor's Office of Costa Rica offered a workshop on criminal liability of legal persons in the context of corruption offences addressed to prosecutors, investigators and officials of the Judicial Investigation Agency in San Jose, Costa Rica.

This workshop was given by Grisell Mojica, project coordinator of UNODC ROPAN and among the topics addressed are: international legal framework of criminal liability of legal persons, criteria for attribution of criminal liability for legal persons and standards of behavior required of legal persons.

"Legal persons have a high impact on the economy of countries, so it is necessary to avoid anti-corruption practices through compliance programs," said Mojica in one of the training sessions. She added that "more and more countries are targeting the criminal liability of legal persons".

For Bryan Castro, Assistant Anti-Corruption Prosecutor, "this workshop has been quite complete because we have been able to learn about experiences in other countries, which has given us an overview of what other places have and thus be able to make an analysis".

He added that they also saw "the specific topic of our law (Costa Rica), we did it in a well-structured way, the discussion was opened on the content of the law and the problems that this content may later bring".

The Deputy Public Prosecutor for Probity, Transparency and Anti-Corruption, Carlos Melendez Sequeira, said that "the most beneficial thing about the workshop was that the facilitator established a series of cases and assumptions that allowed us to reflect on how we are going to apply our regulations on the criminal liability of legal persons".

He highlighted that in addition to "having carried out a theoretical review of the legislation, we have questioned ourselves, analysed and interpreted the application of our regulations".

"For prosecutors, it has been a great opportunity to meet, get away from our daily obligations and reflect," Meléndez concluded.