Magdalena ROIBU, PhD
West University of Timișoara, Law Faculty
The expansion of international crime, especially organized crime, is a perpetual scourge that affects most of the world states and concerns the international public opinion.
Organized crime is the most serious form of criminality that mankind has ever been confronted with, mainly due to its transnational dimensions and seemingly flawless functioning.
A debate on organized crime should address the existence of a worrying sociological phenomenon, besides, of course, the legal phenomenon.
The present study aims at presenting the most important legal instruments that the U.S. have settled at the level of federal legislation, in order to suppress organized crime, as a possible source of inspiration for European lawmakers.
One of the most important U.S. federal laws on organized crime is the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (abbreviated as RICO), which provides for extended criminal penalties and a civil cause of action for acts performed as part of an ongoing criminal organization.
It was enacted as a distinct section of the Organized Crime Control Act of 1970.
While its original use in the 1970s was to prosecute the Mafia, as well as other persons who were actively involved in organized crime, its later application has been more widespread.
Beginning with 1972, 33 U.S. States adopted state level RICO laws in order to be able to prosecute similar criminal conduct.
Effective multilateral control of organized crime is achievable through the development of harmonized international legislation and coordination projects, complementary international law enforcement capacity, and similar sanctioning mechanisms, designed to improve the state and private sector crime control capacity worldwide.