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Characteristics of Crimes Against the Interests of Service in Commercial and Other Organisations in Russia and Germany

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The comparative study focuses on corruption in commercial organisations, which has received considerable attention in both Russia and Germany in recent years. In both countries anti-corruption law has been harmonised by several international conventions to reflect the growing importance of world trade and increasing globalisation. The authors analyse the current criminal offences and the criminological characteristics in both countries. Whereas in Russia special criminal provisions were created under Chapter 23 (Articles 201, 202, 203, 204, 204.1 and 204.2 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation), in Germany the relevant corrupt conduct is covered by the traditional general criminal offence of embezzlement (§ 266 of the German Criminal Code (StGB)) and by newly created special corruption offences (§§ 299, 300 and 301 StGB). The authors show that in each of the two countries, Russia and Germany, corruption in commercial organisations is now considered a grave form of corruption, so that the international conventions are taken into account to some extent. In Germany, however, not only are the sanctions foreseen for corruption in commercial organisations considerably lower than those for corruption in the public sector, but the offences are only prosecuted on criminal complaint. In the practice of German criminal prosecution, these types of bribery offences have therefore so far had little significance. Nevertheless, a high number of undetected cases and large economic losses can be expected. Furthermore, the comparative legal study shows that there are not only considerable differences in the design of the criminal provisions as well as in the legal reality, but that there are also several common elements in Russia and Germany.

About the Authors

Sergey Markuntsov
National Research University Higher School of Economics
Russian Federation

Professor, Department of Public Law Disciplines, Faculty of Law

3 Bol’shoytrekhsvyatitel’skiy pereulok, moscow, 109028 

Martin Paul Wassmer
University of Cologne

Professor, Department of Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure, Director of the Institute for Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure

Albertus-Magnus-Platz, Cologne, 50923


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For citation:

Markuntsov S., Wassmer M. Characteristics of Crimes Against the Interests of Service in Commercial and Other Organisations in Russia and Germany. Russian Law Journal. 2020;8(4):140-152.

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ISSN 2309-8678 (Print)
ISSN 2312-3605 (Online)