A cohesive model to counter financial crime and corruption in the public sector in Greece

Scientific Supervisor of the research program “A cohesive model to counter financial crime and corruption in the public sector in Greece” is Maria Kaiafa-Gbandi, Professor of the Department of Criminal Law and Criminology. The program is carried out in the context of the “Aristeia” initiative, under the auspices of the operational program “Education and Lifelong Learning” (NSRF 2007-2013) of the Ministry of Education, and is co-funded by the Greek State and the European Social Fund. The duration of the project is three years (27.9.2012-26.9.2015).

Research Team Members

- Maria Kaiafa-Gbandi, Professor

- Athanasios Zachariadis, Assistant Professor

- Theodoros Papakyriakou, Assistant Professor

- Konstantinos Chatzikostas, Lecturer

- Alexandros - Timotheos Kazanas, Dr. Of Law

- Ioannis Naziris, Dr. Of Law

- Nikolaos Chatzinikolaou, Dr. Of Law

- Ioannis Vlachos, Candidate Doctor

- Christos Lampakis, Candidate Doctor

- Nicoletta Karaliota, Postgraduate Student of Faculty of Law of AUTH “Direction of Criminal Law and Criminology” 

- Daphne Lima, Postgraduate Student of Faculty of Law of AUTH “Direction of Criminal Law and Criminology” (from 7-2-2013 until 26-9-2013)

- Triantafyllos Parafelas, Postgraduate Student of Faculty of Law of AUTH “Direction of Criminal Law and Criminology” (from 27-9-2013 until 1-9-2014)

Collaborators in law comparative research

- Petter Asp, Professor of Stockholm University

- Sara Sun Beale, Professor of Duke Law School

- Gerhard Dannecker, Professor of Universität Heidelberg

- Valsamis Mitsilegas, Dean of Law School and Professor of Queen Mary University of London

- Julien Walther, Assistant Professor of Faculty of Law, Economic and Political Sciences of Université de Lorraine

Description

The fiscal crisis in Greece and the Eurozone as a whole, as well as the resultant financial crunch of the last few years, has drastically modified the socio-economic environment in Greece, increasing the pressure for radical reform. Public debate now highlights, inter alia, the need to suppress financial crime against the State and hold back corruption in the public sector.

Both said phenomena indubitably bring about harmful social effects. Under the weight of the deepening financial crisis, there is now a tendency to attribute these phenomena exclusively to the fiscal collapse of the country; be that as it may, it diverts public attention from more intricate approaches, which might draw a parallel between inherent anomalies in the Greek social and institutional environment, on the one hand, and crucial international parameters of the present crisis, on the other.

These times present opportunities as well as threats. Increasing consensus to mete out harsh punishment to those responsible for financial crimes against public assets, including –but not limited to- those abusing their official position to derive illicit benefits, coupled with the widespread acknowledgement of public property as worthy of enhanced protection, both favor drawing up a comprehensive policy to prevent and suppress the offenses in question, thus ending the sense of impunity, which would in turn allow an institutional “restart” of the country. At the same time, constant harshening of the legislative framework, including the excessive use of criminal law as a tool of repression, is liable to obscure the urgent need for a comprehensive, long-term strategy of reform addressing the actual causes denying the country equal status in the international arena. Such digression had better be averted, lest it emasculate fundamental rule-of-law principles and, ultimately, jeopardize the attainment of the State’s goals.

Besides, numerous recent initiatives –undertaken “in the midst of crisis” with the perceived goal to bring about broader changes in the provisions governing the types of conduct in question- are indicative of ever-present shortcomings pervading criminal law: incomplete assessment of existing provisions, superficial review of the international institutional environment, ‘piecemeal’ legislation, and lack of a clear-cut, comprehensive strategy allowing for the accurate delimitation of the role of criminal law in restructuring the institutional framework of the country, a role which should by definition be ancillary.

The aim of this research project is to put together and propose a set of rules and principles, on a substantive and procedural level alike, which shall theoretically underpin and practically facilitate the effort to address the principal forms of financial crime and corruption in the Greek public sector, in light of pertinent international developments. The project’s proposal, which shall be based on, inter alia, an empirical and comparative study, will aspire to combine both efficiency and respect for the rule of law, thereby contributing in the long-term uprooting of these phenomena by means of repositioning criminal law in a new, desirable social, economic, and institutional model.

Publications

The research program has already published two volumes on economic crime and corruption in the public sector:

- the first volume concerns the evaluation of the existing institutional framework (see more here);

- the second volume concerns the perspective of justice system, administration and civil society (especially their positions and proposals on the institutional framework and its implementation) and presents comparative legal data on five foreign jurisdictions with regard to the relative criminal fields (see more here)

-the third volume presents a cohesive model to counteract financial crime and corruption in the public sector; specific proposals for legislative interventions are submitted, as well as their recitals and theoretical basis. The volume also consists of the minutes of the International Conference organized in Athens (24-25.4.2015) by the Faculty of Law of AUTH in collaboration with the Bar Association of Athens and the Union of Greek Criminologists (see more here).

More information for the research project, the team and the project publications can be found on the following website: www.fcc.web.auth.gr.

 

Contact: fcc-info@law.auth.gr