Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine the trend towards the criminalization of hard core cartel conduct and to consider the appropriateness and effectiveness of extending the criminal law to this conduct. In addition, it will consider some of the legal implications, including the exposure of directors of companies to potential racketeering charges. Design/methodology/approach – The paper first examines cartel theory and the justification for prohibition. The paper then identifies the emerging trend toward criminalization of hard core cartel conduct, followed by an assessment of potential justifications for criminalization. Implications of criminalization, including the potential impact of organized crime legislation on offenders and regulators, will then be considered. Findings – There is a clear trend towards the criminalization of hard core cartels. The paper argues that this trend is appropriate, both because of the moral culpability it attracts and because of its potential to enhance general deterrence. The paper also argues that cartel conduct, in jurisdictions in which it is criminalized, will constitute “organized crime” as defined in the Palermo Convention and, as such, expose participants to potential money laundering and asset forfeiture consequences. Originality/value – This paper is of value to governments and regulators considering adoption or implementation of a criminal cartel regime and to practitioners in advising clients about potential consequences of cartel conduct within a criminal regime.
Reproduced with the kind permission of the copyright owner.
Field of Research
180105 Commercial and Contract Law 180110 Criminal Law and Procedure
Socio Economic Objective
970118 Expanding Knowledge in Law and Legal Studies
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