Rethinking the Penalty of Illicit Enrichment Crime in Ethiopia: Lessons from Comparative Analysis

Diriba Adugna Tulu

Abstract


The crime of illicit enrichment has been widely accepted as a useful mechanism for curbing corruption, both international and regional anti-corruption instruments. This article's main objective is to comparatively analyze the rationality and appropriateness of the penalty provided for illicit enrichment crime in the Ethiopian Corruption Crimes Proclamation compared with Hong Kong and Rwanda's legal regimes to draw some best lessons and way forwards for the identified problems. The article found that the Ethiopia Corruption Crimes Proclamation fails to set a minimum penalty limit and entails severe punishment in terms of imprisonment and fine that can convey a meaningful message to potential offenders. Thus, the penalty provided for the crime of illicit enrichment is designed in a manner in which the person who commits such crime has the chance to be less punished. In effect, this provision is inconsistent with the purpose of criminal law and major sentencing principles, but it also degenerates public confidence in the justice system. Therefore, Ethiopia needs to take a lesson from Hong Kong and Rwanda's experiences in incorporating severe and setting minimum limit of penalty for the crime of illicit enrichment that can convey a meaningful message to potential offenders.


Keywords


Corruption; Illicit Enrichment; Penalty; Punishment

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References


Books:

Dejene Girma. (2012). A Handbook on the Criminal Code of Ethiopia, Printed by Far East P.L.C.

Lindy Muzila et al. (2012). On the Take: Criminalizing Illicit Enrichment to Fight Corruption,Washington, DC: World Bank.

Ndiva Kofele-Kale. (2012). Combating Economic Crimes: Balancing Competing Rights and Interests in Prosecuting the Crime of Illicit Enrichment, Oxford: UK, First Published by Routledge Research in Transnational Crime and Criminal Law.

Journal Articles:

Jeffrey R. Boles. (2014). Criminalizing the Problem of Unexplained Wealth: Illicit Enrichment Offenses and Human Rights Violation, New York University, Journal of Legislation and Public Policy, 17, No. 4. 2

Mohamad Ahmad et al. (2016). The Law on the Illicit Enrichment Crime and Financial Disclosure in Jordan: Issue of Effectiveness and Enforceability, The Journal of Social Sciences Research, Vol. 2, No. 5.

Mouhamed Bachir. (2017). National Mechanisms Against Illicit Enrichment Case Study: Senegal, Journal of Justice, Vol, 1(1).

Okechukwu, Igwe & Ezenwafor. (2017). African Anti-Corruption Agencies: Challenges and Prospects, Management Studies and Economic Systems (MSES), 3(4) Spring, Pp. 225-243.

Worku Yaze Wadago. (2014). Criminalization of Possession of Unexplained Property and the Fight Against Public Corruption: Identifying the Elements of the Offence under the Criminal Code of Ethiopia, Mizan Law Review, Vol. 8, No.1, Pp.45-83.

Working Paper, Report and Guidelines:

Birney, M. (2013). The London School of Economics and Political Science, Decentralization and Veiled Corruption under China’s Rule of Mandates.

Dejene Girma and Mekonnen Feleke. (2009). Sentencing and Execution Teaching Material, Sponsored by the Federal Justice and Legal System Research Institute.

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Lawrence, A and Lyons, D. (2011). Principles of Effective State Sentencing and Corrections Policy”, A Report of the National Conference of State Legislatures, Sentences and Corrections Work Group, Augest 2011.

Max Weylandt. (2017). The Crime of illicit enrichment in Namibia: New Opportunities for enforcement? Briefing Paper.

Cases:

Oromia Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission(OEACC) Prosecutorv.Zelalem Jemane et al, Oromia Special Zone Surrounding Finfinne High Court, Judgment, Criminal File No.14761, (28/03/2010 E.C).

Prosecutor v. Elizabeth Welde Gebriel et al,(The Federal High Court, File Number 62293), judgment given on 8 July, (2011), 24.

Internet Sources:

Transparancey International. Corruption Perception Index. Retrieved from www.transparency.org/cpi.

Karen Zadoyan.(2014). International Experience of the Criminalization of Illicit Enrichment, and the Possibilities of criminalizing Illicit Enrichment in Armenia. Retrieved from: https://iravaban.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Illicit-enrichment-Eng.pdf.

UNODOC, Signatories to the UNCAC, 2 April, 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/corruption/ratification-status.html.




DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.20956/halrev.v6i3.2410

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