Criminal Liability Of The Legal Person

Author:Petrut Ciobanu
Position:Faculty of Law, University of Bucharest, Romania
Pages:282-285
CRIMINAL LIABILITY OF THE LEGAL PERSON
Associate professor Petruț CIOBANU1
Abstract
The legal person, with the exception of the state and the public authorities, is criminally liable for the crimes
committed in the accomplishment of the activity o bject or in the interest or on behalf of the legal person. Public
institutions are not criminally liable for the crimes committed in the exercise of an activity that cannot be the subject of
the private domain. The criminal liability of the legal person does not exclude the criminal liability of the natural
person who contributed to the commission of the same deed. The criminal liability of the legal person is direct and
personal, which means that the eventual right of recourse of the lega l person against the natural person who is
responsible for committing the crime is exercisable on the b asis of criminal civil liability. Pursuant to the principle of
the territoriality of the criminal law, foreign legal persons who commit crimes on the Romanian territory will be
criminally liable according to the Romanian criminal law.
Keywords: criminal liability, legal person, criminal offense, criminal law.
JEL Classification: K14
1. Introductory considerations
The criminal liability of the legal person was introduced by Law no. 278/2006 for the
modification and completion of the Penal Code, as well as for the modification and completion of
other laws, published in the Official Gazette no. 601 of 12.07.2006.
By Law no. 286/2009 published in the Official Gazette no. 510 of 24.07.2009 a new
Criminal Code of Romania was adopted, and the criminal liability of the legal person was regulated
in Title VI of the General Part, articles 135-151.
The main provisions in the field refer to the fact that it was decided to regulate this
institution in a special title, following the Finnish penal code model and the direct liability model,
inspired by the Belgian and Dutch penal code, was maintained.
2. Criminal liability of the legal person
The legal person, with the exception of the state and the public authorities, is criminally
liable for the crimes committed in the accomplishment of the activity object or in the interest or on
behalf of the legal person.
Public institutions are not criminally liable for the crimes committed in the exercise of an
activity that cannot be the subject of the private domain.
The criminal liability of the legal person does not exclude the criminal liability of the
natural person who contributed to the commission of the same deed.
The Romanian legislator has established a model of direct criminal liability2, in which the
legal person is responsible for his own deed and not for the deed of another person.
The criminal liability can only be committed in the case of a legal person, so that an entity
without legal personality (a civil society, a joint venture) cannot be an active subject of any crime.
The state and the public authorities benefit from a general and absolute criminal impunity,
but the responsibility of the public institutions for the crimes committed in the exercise of an
activity that can be subject to the private domain of the state can be committed.
Thus, from a criminal point of view, all legal persons under private law, regardless of the
1 Petruț Ciobanu - Faculty of Law, University of Bucharest, Romania, petrut.ciobanu@drept.unibuc.ro
2 F. Streteanu, R. Chiriţă, Răspunderea penală a persoanelor juridice în dreptul b elgian, Revista de drept penal” no. 1/2000, p. 112;
F.Streteanu, R. Chiriţă, Răspunderea penală a persoanelor juridice, Ed. C.H.Beck, Bucharest, 2007; H. Diaconescu, Este
răspunderea penală a persoanei juridice în dreptul român o răspundere pentru fapta altuia? , Dreptul” no. 12/2005, p. 147; M. A.
Hotca, R. Slăvoiu, Noul Cod penal şi Codul penal anterior. Adnotări, situaţii tranzitorii, noutăţi, Ed. Universul Juridic, Bucharest,
2014, pp. 238-239.

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