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ECPR 50th Anniversary Fund

Organised Crime on Trial: Criminalisation of Conspiracy and Enterprise in England and the USA

Anna Sergi
University of Essex
Anna Sergi
University of Essex

The way national legislations deal with organised crime is shaped by institutional perceptions of the threat on one side, and the propensity to comply with international guidelines on the other side. This paper looks at the way organised crime is portrayed in criminal law by comparing laws on conspiracy in the UK and in the USA, especially focusing on the consolidated shift from simple to enterprise conspiracy in the American RICO Act of 1970. The analysis is based on case law and interviews conducted in London and in New York with law enforcement officials. In conclusion, the paper will argue that criminal procedure in England and Wales might benefit from a shift towards an offence of enterprise conspiracy drawing on the US model through a reconsideration of the wrongfulness of organised crime and perception of the threat.
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