The reason why it is important is because the exact way in which organized crime is defined goes a significant distance in determining how legislation and laws are constructed, how research studies are completed, how examinations and prosecutions are ordinates, and lastly, how interactive and connected legal assistance across national and international borders is or is not provided. What one may understand organized crime to be, and how seriously the society regards it, will also decide the amount of the publics support for policies and resources to confront and address it.
Therefore, due to the fact that there lies severe inconsistencies and deviations from a true and uniform definition of organized crime, the public and law enforcement is confronted with a major dilemma as to the route of understanding and elimination of such illegal facet. There are numerous difficulties, which can be found within defining organized crime, one of which, can be discovered within the work of the united Nations convention on transnational organized crime in the late twentieth century.
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Seeking agreement on a definition indeed proved to be one of the most difficult issues for the negotiators within the UN, which resulted in a very broad, almost useless, sort Of least common denominator definition, which I will discuss further within the paper. The objective of the paper is to not only critique, but commend the definitions which have been set out by the Government of Canada, the LINE, he FBI and Canadian and American scholars. This will provide the reader with questions regarding international uniformity and cohesion, along with ways in which defining organized crime can be improved upon.
The first area of focus that will be addressed is section 467. 1 through to section 467. 13, of the Criminal Code of Canada, which address membership in a criminal organization. Within the code section 467. 1 is as mentioned in appendix 1 . Although one could argue that this is a working definition and is subjective just alike every other section within the Criminal Code, I believe hat there are some inherent flaws, along with major strengths.
A major strength of the definition is that the criminal code clarifies that although organized crime must contain at least three or more people, it identifies that the legal definition is based on the “exclusion of a group of three of more persons that has formed randomly for the immediate commission of a single offence. ” 1 Furthermore, it identifies boundaries and borders, which is important in declaring that criminal organizations can be considered regardless if they operate within there borders or not.
However, the definition s ignorant to the fact that not all organized crime syndicates are reliant upon monies from every illegal activity performed. A contemporary example of this is the Islamic State, which I would agree is a terrorist group, but also a organized crime group, who’s actions are not solely for profit but have ulterior motives. This can be challenged by section ad within the charter that advocates for freedom of association. This section explains that Canadians are free to associate with whomever the chose despite their affiliation or connections.
Another definition, which will be analyzed within the criminal ode, is section 462. 31, laundering proceeds of crime, which, is often directly correlated to organized crime. For sake of conserving space, this paper will assume that one has informed himself with the definition. This definition, despite the difficulty in proving such broad definition, has covered a significant amount of area. Although the definition is broad and strategic to cover all criminal proceeds within Canada, it ignores illegal monies that have been attained outside of Canada, which have been brought in.
The Criminal Code identifies that the disguised illegal proceeds are deemed money maundering, if, the criminal acts were committed within Canada. Although other sections of the Criminal Code address importation of illegal monies, if done successfully ones cannot be successfully charged with money laundering, proving the existence of a possible loophole within the definition. This section can always be challenged within section 7 principle of fundamental justice. This is because a major part of discovering money laundering is focused around business that have their privacy comfort interrupted. Section 462. 2(1 ) of the Criminal Code entitled search and seizure of reseeds of crime deals with search warrants in regards to locations where authorities believe that assets or monies of illegal activities are located. The major thing to note within this section is that the law has supreme power over the citizens in which it governs, due to the fact that at any time, with sufficient evidence, whatever that may be, authorities can suspend your rights as a citizen and search your property. The only section, beyond sections that deal with privacy within the Charter that can be invoked, is that of section 8, which IS illegal search and seizure.
Essentially this means that there was a lack of evidence to attain a search warrant or the execution of the search warrant was found to be unjust. The final section that will be addressed is section 462. 37 (1) & (2), which targets forfeiture of proceeds of crime. This section deals with the fact that if the courts are unable to successfully prove what they have charged the individual or individuals with, the state can still maintain possession over property and assets if they believe and can provide basic information that they were possessed or attained through illegal funding.
Section 8 of the Charter can also be applied in this instance to argue illegal search and seizure and has probably grounds of completing set argument due to the fact that section 462. 37 is only set in place if the crown was unable to successfully argue the original charges. The next section of the paper will analyze definitions of organized crime that have been set out by the Canadian government, UN and FBI. Due to the fact that the Canadian governments definition was addressed at the onset of the paper, we will now turn our attention towards the LINE.
One could logically assume that the LLC, being the mediator and quasi-governing body of North America would have a definition, which is flawless and precise, however, this paper will display otherwise. For the sake of the assignment a 1 975 LINE definition of organized crime will be used and can be found in appendix 2. One major advantage that this definition has, very much like others, is that, due to its broad range and vagueness it incorporates a great amount of activities that can be associated and linked to organized crime.
Although this is beneficial in theory, in practice it can prove to be difficult due to the fact hat an array of situations, which are totally unlike, can still be constituted as organized crime. Furthermore, similar to the definition provided within the criminal code, it assumes that all parties involved are receiving compensation or monies from all illegal activities when numerous scholars have noted that some low level criminals in organized crime syndicates are not entitled to earn monies all the time. James O. Financier, author of the article, entitled, Problems Of Definition: What is Organized Crime? Explains that a lot of time new members within these groups must perform activities to gain respect ND admittance to the group. 2 The FBI defines organized crime as any group having some manner Of a formalized structure and whose primary objective is to obtain money through illegal activities. Such groups maintain their position through the use of actual or threatened violence, corrupt public officials, graft, or extortion, and generally have a significant impact on the people in their locales, region, or the country as a whole. This is the definition in which I subscribe to and support the most. This definition lays out the effects, specific activities and way in which criminal organizations are managed. It does not assume, nor imply, anything that is not relevant or necessary in understanding and grasping the concept of organized crime. This definition, in my opinion, requires little if any criticism. Beyond the scope of the Canadian government, the LLC and the FBI, many scholars have attempted to define organized crime within their own way. Frederick].
Decreases, Canadian author of the book entitled, “The Crime that Pays”, identifies although it is difficult to create a definition, organized crime is a gang of individuals that participate in illegal activity together, in hopes of enervating wealth-4 Now although this definition is not extensive and deep, it provides a very basic and semi well rounded of the key points. However, this definition, does not explain how many individuals constitute a gang or group as well as the key activities in which organized crime is linked to.
Although, there are those weaknesses line ked to that definition, Decreases does something that I enjoy, which is not assume that members within the organized crime group generate profit. He explains that through illegal activity members hope to achieve wealth and profits, however, does not assume they always do. Another scholar that attempts to provide a well-rounded and well- articulated definition of organized crime is American PHD professor, Peter A. Lupus’s. This definition can be found in appendix 3.
One could easily suggest that this is the most sound and well-rounded explanation of what organized should be defined as. Although one could critique the definition on the vagueness of the terms such as large amounts of capital, and the assumption of money laundering, I would argue that this definition is the best discovered thus far. Does there need to be significant amounts of capital in order to me illegal activity apart of a criminal organization? If so, what is considered a significant amount of capital?
Lastly, Lupus’s refrains from denouncing how many people must be involved in order to consider criminal activity organized crime. Can it be two people or even a single person? These are questions that require some explanation in order to prevent misleading within practice; however, the definition still manages to illuminate key points that are crucial to organized crime. Lastly, American scholar Michael D. Malta, donates his definition of organized crime as an offence “committed by two or more offenders who are r intend to remain associated for the purpose of committing crimes. This definition is one Of the weaker ones presented within this paper for a few key reasons. Primarily, it assumes that because two individuals are associated through criminal activity that they are organized and logical. One could logically ask if that means a crack junky and his or her supplier can be considered an organized crime group? According to this definition any individuals who are connected through crime can be defined as organized crime. Contrasting this definition to Alpha’s above, a formalized structure r enјark is not apparent within this definition.
Furthermore, the definition assumes that two individuals can be declaration an organized crime group. This definition is far too vague and unclear in order to be present within the understanding and legal sphere of organized crime. In conclusion, although there are numerous definitions, and some are clearly more advanced and well rounded than others, each an every definition can provide something to developing a uniform and international definition of organized crime. The three sections which definitions were investigated within this paper help us to understand many different aspects.
The sections of the criminal code help us understand organized crime from the point of view of the government, while the UN and FBI, help us understand the definition of organized crime through an agency point of view and lastly, the scholarly analysis allows the reader to gain a personal understanding of the organized crime definition. Government, agency and personal definitions of organized crime all aid in allowing citizens to gain a more full and complete understanding about what organized crime truly is.