Law punishment

Law punishment

  • Submitted By: Nikki-King
  • Date Submitted: 04/22/2016 2:38 PM
  • Category: English
  • Words: 8716
  • Page: 35


Alexey Konov
National Research University – Higher School of Economics,
Moscow, Russia

Paper to be presented at the

Public Management Research Conference
Syracuse, USA
2-4 June 2011

Very first draft
Please do not quote without the permission of the author.

The paper is a part of a larger review of the most important ethical issues raised by
the use of proactive methods to investigate corruption. In the literature, proactive
investigations are widely agreed to be an effective method of law enforcement in
general and anti-corruption in particular. However, their effectiveness is usually
“counterbalanced” by their moral ambiguity. In the paper we address two ethical
controversies associated with proactive investigations and try to understand
whether it is justified to hold those who committed offences in sting operations
morally responsible and subject to punishment.

Limited observability of corruption offences is one of the widely recognized factors that
substantially limit implementation of anti-corruption strategies in any country. Similar to other
confrontationless crimes, corruption violations rarely become subject of complaints received by
law-enforcement authorities. It happens due to a certain well known reasons (see e.g. Altman &
Lee, 1983: 51-52). First, corruption relations frequently benefit all parties involved. In this case
neither participant feels himself to be a victim, and consequently, nobody is interested to report
the wrongdoing. Second, many types of corruption violations, such as embezzlement, have no
individual victim: various categories of citizens or society in general are negatively affected that
makes reporting a difficult task. Third, even when there are individual victims, e.g. in case of
blackmail, they could be afraid to report, being aware of retaliative officials and thus choosing to
follow the...

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