Final conference – 21-22 March 2022 (online)


Distinguishing criteria between petty and high-ranking corruption: Final results

On March 21–22, 2022, the National Institute of Criminology hosted the closing conference of the project, titled: ‘Corruption risk, risk of corruption? Distinguishing criteria between petty and high-ranking corruption’, which was supported by the European Union’s Hercule III program (2014–2020) (101014783 – CRITCOR). At the two-day scientific meeting, held at a high professional level, the participants were able to hear lectures on the issue of corruption interpreted by Hungarian and foreign speakers; at the same time, they were able to address criminal and criminological issues related to corruption in workshops. The first speaker of the event was Prof. Dr. Péter Polt, Chief Prosecutor, who gave a presentation entitled “The Role of the Prosecutor’s Office in the Prosecution of Corruption Crimes”, presenting the commitment of the Hungarian Prosecutor's Office to the prosecution of corruption offenses. At the scientific conference, a number of internationally renowned professionals shared their knowledge and experience of corruption, including: Prof. Michael Levi, Professor of Criminology at the University of Cardiff, Dr Andra-Roxana Trandafir PhD, Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Law, University of Bucharest; Prof. Annalisa Mangiaracina, Professor at the University of Palermo; and also the staff members of the Central Anti-Corruption Bureau were present. Last but not least, Alan Doig, a visiting professor at Newcastle Business School, University of Northumbria shared his valuable thoughts on the risk assessment of corruption.
     However, the professional program did not tilt towards the analysis of the international aspects of the phenomenon, as the participants of the meeting could also enjoy the presentations of excellent Hungarian experts. Among the Hungarian experts, Dr. Éva Inzelt PhD, Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Law of the Eötvös Loránd University and Dr. Krisztina Farkas PhD, Prosecutor, and Dr. Adrienn Laczó, Judge and President of the Metropolitan Court, spoke as speakers. The balance of the conference was indicated by the fact that the workshops were not limited to the processing of theoretical issues, but also by practitioners working in the criminal justice system could express their opinion, such as: police officers, prosecutors and judges. Foreign (Romanian, Italian) and domestic case processing has enriched the two-day deliberation as well as the discourses that magnify the propositions of theory and practice.
    The closing event was thus a worthy end to the approximately fifteen-month project, which enriched the participants of the CRITCOR events with extensive knowledge during its operation.

Presentations:

♦ Michael Levi: Corruption in the UK: Stability and Changes in the era of Covid-19
♦ Inzelt Éva: Mit tanultunk a korrupcióról, amit korábban nem tudtunk? [What have we learned about corruption that we had not known before?] I.
♦ Farkas Krisztina: Mit tanultunk a korrupcióról, amit korábban nem tudtunk? [What have we learned about corruption that we had not known before?] II.
♦ Annalisa Mangiaracina: Petty and high ranking corruption in Italy

   

Training – 22-23 November 2021 (online)


Detection, Prosecution, and Judicial Practice of Corruption Crimes

Within the framework of the CRITCOR project, an international training was held on November 22–23, 2021, entitled: Detection, Prosecution, and Judicial Practice of Corruption Crimes. The hands-on professional program consisted of two major content units: on the one hand, participants were able to give presentations on domestic and foreign investigative and anti-corruption practices, the protection of the EU's financial interests, and the prosecution and police practice of due diligence; on the other hand, anonymized cases were processed over a period of about 5 hours.
   The professional program was opened by Tünde Barabás, Head of Department at the National Institute of Criminology (OKRI), which was followed by the presentation of Barna Miskolczi, Chief Prosecutor of the Public Prosecutor’s Office. It provided a thorough overview on the activities threatening the EU's financial interests that could have an indirect – or even direct – impact on the integrity of the European Union. Lucia Parlato, a professor at the University of Palermo, spoke about the means of investigating-acts of corruption in Italy, focusing primarily on the relevant legal background; then the Polish participants illustrated the CBA’s investigative and reconnaissance activities and crime prevention opportunities through specific cases. At the forefront of the second day of the training was the question of reliability tests: Andrea Zsolnai, Head of the Infringement and Law Enforcement Department of the Public Prosecutor’s Office of the General Prosecutor’s Office, revealed the tasks of the Prosecutor’s Office in relation to investigations in a richly illustrated, comprehensible and practice-oriented presentation. After her presentation Zita Veprik Police Lieutenant held a similarly high quality and thorough analysis, now from a police perspective.
   The two-day event focused on discussing practical issues. Although the training was originally planned in the form of attendance, due to the epidemic situation, the program was transferred to the online space, which, however, did not in the least hinder the fruitful dialogue and the effectiveness of the training. Within the framework of the training, the participants processed three legal cases in groups of 7-8 people with the help of the following moderators: Éva Inzelt (assistant professor, Eötvös Loránd University), Adrienn Laczó (judge, Metropolitan Court), Krisztina Farkas (prosecutor, OKRI), Richárd Szoboszlai-Szász (Chief Prosecutor, General Prosecutor’s Office) and János Homonnai (Head of Department Prosecutor, General Prosecutor’s Office). Corruption cases were gradually brought to the attention of police officers, judges and prosecutors, so that, during the processing of the cases it was possible to discuss certain investigative problems, the use of covert means, and the supervision and judicial issues, too. Anonymized, real cases can serve as a basis for avoiding previous mistakes in future cases by police officers, prosecutors, judges; at the same time, the common thinking also helped to achieve the specific objective of the project: to define the indicators needed to distinguish between petty and high-ranking cases. The evaluation of the processed cases in this respect by the professional organizations was a huge benefit of the training. The fruitful dialogue between the professions was also an outstanding result of the discussions. In March 2022, at the closing conference of CRITCOR, as a summary of the project, we are waiting for the participants of the program with lectures and additional case processing sections.

Presentations:

♦ Barna Miskolczi: The real purpose of the criminal law protection of the financial interests of the EU
♦ Lucia Parlato: Current Issues related to Corruption Offenses and Investigation Tools in Italy
♦ Zuzanna Mrozowska: Experience Sharing Training based on case studies of different states
♦ Agnieszka Reicher: Irregularities in Warsaw property reprivatisation process
♦ Artur Kołdys: Corruption prevention in Poland
♦ Zsolnai Andrea:A megbízhatósági vizsgálatok engedélyezésével összefüggő kérdésekről
♦ Veprik Zita: A megbízhatósági vizsgálatok elemzése a rendőrség szempontjából

 

 Workshop 2 – Kick off Meeting – 21-22 June 2021 (online)

 

The second online meeting of the CRITCOR project was held on June 21–22, 2021, which was attended by experts from 11 countries, together with Hungary. In their presentations, the Portuguese, Dutch, Romanian, Czech, Croatian and Serbian, as well as the Hungarian speakers mainly presented the difficulties and limitations of corruption research and the practical and ethical dilemmas that arise in connection with the research; and also the results of successful corruption investigations were discussed.
   At the workshop, Hungarian researchers gave lectures on the results of the research carried out within the framework of the CRITCOR project – partly even preliminary ones: the lessons of the so-called “grounding questionnaire” were drawn by Éva Inzelt; whilst Krisztina Farkas gave an insight into the problems of budget fraud. In addition to the definition-problems and indicators suitable for measuring corruption, which are the cornerstones of corruption discussions (Miklós Hajdu), the ethical dimensions of the research were also discussed in the report of Wim Huisman and Madelijne Gorsira. The interpretation of the Portuguese rapporteur (Rita Faria) raised the issue of the relevance and complexity of quantitative studies; elsewhere, participants were able to hear a presentation – by Andra-Roxana Trandafir – on the criminal law regulation of corruption in Romania. The Czech expert Vladimír Naxera magnified the political connotation of corruption in the Czech Republic; while Sunčana Roksandić (Croatia) discussed the EU aspects of the issue and the relationship between organized crime and corruption. The final presentation of the conference was given by Nikola Vujičić, who spoke about the difficulties of criminal law regulation and prevention in Serbia.
   In addition to the presentations, there was an opportunity for a lively professional discourse as well as to discuss the further steps of the project. We would like to thank the experts from Portugal, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Great Britain, Romania, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Serbia and Poland and of course for the Hungarian professionals for their participation in the online discussion; for the great presentations for the presenters and the joint management of the debates for the moderators.

The consultation proved to be extremely useful and in many respects was forward-looking in terms of understanding the phenomenon of corruption and the collaboration between researchers and practitioners. The project will continue with a case processing training in November with experts from four countries.

Presentations:

Day 1st

♦ Éva Inzelt: Distinguishing criteria between petty and high-ranking corruption: Preliminary results
♦ Rita Faria: Qualitative Research Methodologies and Epistemologies int the Field of Corruption
♦ József Kó: First results of the second analysis: Corruption offences in Hungary
♦ Krisztina Farkas: Distinguishing criteria between petty and high-ranking corruption: Preliminary results II.
♦ Andra-Roxana Trandafir: The perspectives of the Romanian legislation on large scale and petty corruption
♦ Wim Huisman – Madelijne Gorsira: Both sides of the coin: Motives for corruption among public officials and business employees

Day 2nd

♦ Miklós Hajdu: Possibilities in Measuring Corruption
♦ Sunčana Roksandić: How to prioritize corruption research in the EU relation to EU Internal and External Security
♦ Vladimír Naxera: Anti-corruption rhetoric within contemporary Czech politics
♦ Nikola Vujičić: Prevention and fight against corruption in Serbia

 

 Workshop 1 – Kick off Meeting – 22-23 March 2021 (online)

 

The goal of the two-day professional program was to magnify the critical issues and the focus points of the one-and-a-half-year project in a lecture. There were presentations about the local characteristics of corruption, the basic conceptual issues; about the problems which may raise in respect of the measurement/evaluation of corruption, and also about the classification of the phenomenon. The most exciting and intense debate at the discussion has revolved around the unique approach of criminal law, which can only hardly cope with the phenomenal attitude of science, namely criminology. On Tuesday, the issue of victims of corruption, then the law enforcement and the prevention aspects were discussed by the participants, whilst finally the levels of corruption were analyzed. The presentations were very rich in their own right, too, being comprehensive, instructive, and colorful, but they also provided an excellent starting point for the consultation in between the lectures. These debates were (perhaps) the most valuable elements of professional consultation. The meeting, which was highly focused in terms of timing and content, provided a great opportunity for a real professional dialogue, building a bridge not only between the participants – Eastern and Western European countries – but also between the theoretical and practical professionals.

Hereby we would like to thank the participants for their enthusiastic and active presence, the presenters for the great lectures and the moderators for leading the fruitful dialogues!

Presentations:

♦ Michael Levi: Use of terms and choice of criminal assessment
♦ Balázs Garamvölgyi: Measuring corruption
♦ Nicholas Lord: Classification of Corruption
♦ Michael Kilchling: Winners and Losers. Perpetrators and Victims of corruption
♦ Balázs Garamvölgyi: Levels of corruption and the corresponding anti-corruption strategies
♦ Paweł Rutkowski (CBA): How to formulate anti-corruption message for public administration