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The Problem of Imposing Criminal Liability on Legal Persons in Germany and Russia

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The article is devoted to the consideration of problems in connection with the introduction of the institution of criminal liability for legal persons in Germany and Russia. The authors analyze the doctrinal discussions that have been held for over 200 years with respect to this problem and the arguments raised by supporters and opponents of introducing criminal liability for legal persons. They also consider the modern practice of making legal persons liable. In particular, the institution of “quasi criminal” liability of legal persons in Germany and their administrative liability in Russia is examined. The comparative study shows that there are many similarities with regard to this question in both Germany and Russia. 

About the Authors

Sergey Markuntsov
National Research University Higher School of Economics
Russian Federation

Professor, Department of Criminal Law and Criminalistics, Faculty of Law

3 Bol’shoy Trekhsvyatitel’skiy pereulok, Moscow, 109028, Russia

Martin Wassmer
University of Cologne

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

Albertus-Magnus-Platz, Cologne, 50923, Germany


1. Волженкин Б.В. Уголовная ответственность юридических лиц [Volzhenkin B.V. Criminal Liability of Legal Persons] (St. Petersburg: Editorial and Publishing Department of the St. Petersburg Law Institute of the Prosecutor General’s Office of the Russian Federation, 1998).

2. Das Unternehmensstrafrecht und seine Alternativen [Corporate Criminal Law andIts Alternatives] (M. Jahn et al. (eds.), Baden-Baden: Nomos, 2016).

3. Das Verbot der Auslandsbestechung [The Prohibition of Foreign Bribery] (E. Hoven & M. Kubiciel (eds.), Baden-Baden: Nomos, 2016).

4. Reform des Sanktionenrechts. Bd. 3 [Reform of the Sanctions Law. Vol. 3] (M. Hettinger (ed.), Baden-Baden: Nomos, 2002).


For citation:

Markuntsov S., Wassmer M. The Problem of Imposing Criminal Liability on Legal Persons in Germany and Russia. Russian Law Journal. 2018;6(3):125-148.

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