The role of the Criminal Law Section is to coordinate the activities of the following committees.
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This year the sections and committees of the IBA's Legal Practice Division are once again offering scholarships to young lawyers who wish to participate in the IBA Annual Conference. Read more
Ukrainian jury trials in criminal cases: reasons behind their inefficiency and suggestions for improvement
The jury system is quite common worldwide. In some countries, such as the United Kingdom and United States, trial by jury has been in place for hundreds of years, while many other jurisdictions have only begun involving jurors to justice relatively recently or are in the process of developing or implementing this institution. Trial by jury in Ukraine dates back to as recently as 2012 with the adoption of the new Criminal Procedure Code of Ukraine (CPC) by Ukraine’s parliament. The Ukrainian jury belongs to a mixed system where cases are heard by two professional judges and three jurors, and the decision is made by a simple majority of votes.
On 26 February 2021, in a case of active bribery of public officials and breach of trust in Togo, in which a French group had been prosecuted since 2012, the Paris Criminal Court unexpectedly refused to approve the guilty pleas (comparutions sur reconnaissance préalable de culpabilité or CRPC). The pleas had been accepted by the three individuals: the chairman and the CEO of the group and the international director of a subsidiary of the group. Instead, the court approved the judicial interest agreement (Convention judiciaire d’intérêt public or CJIP, the French DPA) for the legal entity, which will have to pay a public interest fine and for two years, undertake the cost of an anti-corruption compliance programme under the supervision of the French Anti-corruption Agency (the AFA).
The courts have had few occasions to rule on the grounds that extinguish the criminal liability of a legal person since such liability was added to the Spanish Criminal Code (SCC). The question of whether or not criminal liability should be transferred to a legal person who has neither participated nor had any involvement in the offence raises important technical problems from the point of view of the principle of culpability.
Over the past few years, the European Union (EU) has seen an intensification of the attacks on the independence of several Member States’ judicial authorities. In reaction, EU institutions and jurisdictions have endeavoured to sanction some of these Member States through a number of actions or decisions. Most recently, within one week of each other, the European Court of Justice (CJEU) and the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) criticised the lack of independence and impartiality of the disciplinary chamber of the Polish Supreme Court.
Business Law International
Published by the IBA’s Legal Practice Division, Business Law International covers the latest developments in all areas of business law across the globe, from M&A to employment, competition to tax, offering rigorous comparative analysis of how the law affects business in different jurisdictions and across borders.