L14702 White Collar Crimes

Scuola di Diritto
Syllabus
Academic Year 2018/19 First Semester

foto
Docente TitolareClaudia Rimoldi
E-mailcrimoldi@liuc.it
Office"Torre" (main tower), 3rd floor
Phone0331 572479

Learning Objectives

This course aims at providing students with some general level of understanding on white collar crime, its characteristics, its complexities and its social and financial impact on business and society

Learning targets

At the end of the course the student will be able:

  1. to acquire an understanding of white collar crime and its main characteristics
  2. to understand the complexity of economic crimes
  3. to develop a full understanding of how economists, sociologists and criminologists deal with an issue that is of great concern to our Society
  4. to examine specific cases of the investigation of white collar offences
  5. to appreciate the challenges of prosecution of these criminals
  6. to identify criminological theories which apply to this kind of crimes
  7. to use the economist’s and the sociologist’s tools to examine the economic and the social cost of white collar crime

Course Content

The aim of the course is to provide students with an overview of white collar offences and their power to undermine the basis of trust which holds society together. Particular attention will be devoted to the analysis of the harmful activities of corporations which endanger the safety of workers and consumers, and have a wide impact on public health and the environment.

Starting from Edwin Sutherland’s official definition of white collar criminality, the course will focus on the historical perspective in order to increase the students’awareness of the huge social and economic cost generated by the so called “crimes of the powerful”.

Students will also be encouraged to develop their analytical thinking capabilities through comparison and contrast in the application of criminological theories to the problem of economic crime.

Course Delivery

The course will run under both seminar and workshop format, which requires active students’ involvement.

Lectures are held throughout the entire semester. Students are expected to take an active role in the class and to participate in the critical discussion of cases and materials.

Notorious high profile cases of white collar crime will be used to critically examine methods of investigation and prosecution of economic offences

In preparing for lectures, students are required to read the articles, cases and academic papers provided  by the instructor, but they are also encouraged to extend their reading to related papers discovered through personal search on the internet and to related newspaper articles they may become aware of through their daily reading.

Course Evaluation

All students should pass an oral exam. For those students attending classes, grade will duly take into consideration class participation (30%).

Participation to classes is strongly recommended

Syllabus

Session 1
Hours of lesson: 0
Instructor: C. Rimoldi

Topics:

  • Introduction: the legal definition of a crime
  • Public perception of crimes as influenced by the media
  • Edwin Sutherland

Readings:

Session 2
Hours of lesson: 0
Instructor: C. Rimoldi

Topics:

  • characteristics of white collar crime
  • brief history of Criminology: from the spiritual explanation of crime to the Positive and Classical School of Criminology

Readings:

Session 3
Hours of lesson: 0
Instructor: C. Rimoldi

Topics:

The white collar offender

white collar crime in fiction and novels

Readings:

Session 4
Hours of lesson: 0
Instructor: C. Rimoldi

Topics:

  • conceptualizing white collar crime
  • occupational and organizational white collar crime
  • categories of white collar crime: consumer crimes, fraud, bribery, environmental crimes

Readings:

Session 5
Hours of lesson: 0
Instructor: C. Rimoldi

Topics:

The Enron Case

Readings:

Bethany Mc Lean, Peter Elkind "The smartest guys in the room: the amazing rise and scandalous fall of Enron" - Documentary and book

Session 6
Hours of lesson: 0
Instructor: C. Rimoldi

Topics:

  • Emile Durkheim and Robert K. Merton
  • Consumer Crimes: The Ford Pinto Case

Readings:

Douglas Birsch, John H. Fielder, The Ford Pinto Case, a study in applied ethics, business and technology, State University of New York Press, 1994

Session 7
Hours of lesson: 0
Instructor: C. Rimoldi

Topics:

White collar victimization: cases and studies

Readings:

Session 8
Hours of lesson: 0
Instructor: C. Rimoldi

Topics:

  • The Organization did it. Individuals, Corporations and Crime
  • Nick Leeson and Barings Bank

Readings:

John Minkes and Leonard Minkes (edited by), Corporate and white collar crime, Sage Publications Ink, 2008

Stephen Fay, The collapse of Barings, Library of Congress, 1997

Session 9
Hours of lesson: 0
Instructor: C. Rimoldi

Topics:

Environmental crimes: Anne Anderson v Beatrice Food

Readings:

  • The trial documents
  • A civil action - the movie
Session 10
Hours of lesson: 0
Instructor: C. Rimoldi

Topics:

  • Whistleblowing: a critical approach

Readings:

Material will be provided by the instructor during the course

Session 11
Hours of lesson: 0
Instructor: C. Rimoldi

Topics:

  • Criminology: Learning theories
  • Business Ethics

Readings:

Session 12
Hours of lesson: 0
Instructor: C. Rimoldi

Topics:

  • Corruption
  • Measures aimed at strengthening the fight against corruption in the European Union

Readings:

Session 13
Hours of lesson: 0
Instructor: C. Rimoldi

Topics:

Oral exam

Readings:


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