Corruption instead of the state – as defined by the international organization Transparency International – is the result of one of the crimes committed by government and business – white-collar workers. A society deeply affected by white-collar crime is disorganized: there is a lack of trust to government institutions, government officials do not enjoy respect and authority among the population, and entrepreneurial activity is associated with an increased range of risks.
Intolerance of violating the law by influential people is growing in Ukrainian society, and the Criminal Code, as it should be, reflects public sentiment.
Thus, a separate, XVII section (Articles 364-370) of the Criminal Code is devoted to crimes in the sphere of official activity, according to the rules of which the following offenses are prosecuted, in particular:
The section includes general types of official crimes, which are prosecuted in the absence of a special rule of law. For example, Article 365 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine, which provides for liability for abuse of power or official authority by a law enforcement officer, competes with Part 2 of Art. 162, which punishes an illegal search of an official’s home or other property.
Due to the specifics of criminal acts, victims may not feel the damage for a long time, and the offender will remain undetected and unpunished.
Offenders use their power, official position, authority not only to commit crimes, but also to conceal evidence and cover up the perpetrators.
It is often difficult to establish both the time of the beginning of criminal activity and the number of illegal episodes.
Criminals plan a crime in advance and pay serious attention to its organization.
Poor wording of criminal law or excessive competition of legal norms makes it difficult to properly classify criminal acts, and sometimes makes it impossible to bring the perpetrators to justice.
All crimes of this group encroach on public relations that ensure the normal functioning of the public authorities administration, local governments or legal entities, as well as public relations that ensure legitimate professional activities for the provision of public services (auditors, notaries, experts, arbitrators, state performers, etc.), i.e. have a common generic object.
The next characteristic feature is a special subject of the crime, that may be:
– Law enforcement officer;
– A person who provides public services.
Prosecution of a common entity is any person over the age of 16, occurs for bribery of an official of both public and private law, as well as for offering, promising or giving an improper benefit to such person or for abusing influence.
Most official crimes are committed through active behavior – actions, although in some cases criminal liability may arise for inaction (official negligence, abuse of power or official position in the form of inaction). In this case, there must be a direct bond between the person’s actions and his official activities. In the absence of such a connection, illegal actions of a person may be qualified under the articles of other sections of the Criminal Code, such as crimes against a person or property.
Crimes in the sphere of performance management may be completed both from the moment of committing an illegal act and from the moment of occurrence of the consequences provided by law. In the case of property damage as a result of a crime, it can be assessed as significant damage or serious consequences, depending on the amount of damage or the amount of lost profits. At the same time, the consequences of an intangible nature also provide grounds for criminal prosecution, and their severity is assessed by the court each time individually.
Most crimes of Section XVII of the Criminal Code of Ukraine are committed intentionally and have a special purpose, which is to obtain a knowingly illegal benefit. The exception is criminal negligence, which is characterized by a careless form of guilt and sometimes indirect intent.