The Problem of, and with, Financial Crime

George Gilligan

University of New South Wales

July 19, 2012

Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly, Vol 63, No 4, pp.495-508, Winter 2012

Financial crime is a term that is widely used, but it is a label or category that is bedevilled by definitional uncertainty and this uncertainty impacts upon how it is perceived and acted upon by law enforcement and other regulatory actors. This is perhaps not surprising and echoes many of the difficulties that have plagued efforts to counter white-collar crime. This article considers the definitional and other ambiguities that have permeated debates about both white-collar and financial crime. The analysis draws on a short survey which asked law enforcement and other regulatory actors in Australia and the UK whose responsibilities included countering behaviors that could be viewed as financial crime, what operational definitions of financial crime they employed in the course of their work. Results indicate that definitional uncertainty ensures that there are numerous understandings of what constitutes financial crime and no immediate prospect of a universal legal definition. However, there are some interesting classification developments for financial crime emerging from the business sciences literature and inter-disciplinary approaches would seem to offer the most promise for categorizing the suite of evolving behaviors that comprise financial crime.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 17

Keywords: financial crime, white-collar crime, classification

JEL Classification: G18, G30, K42

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Date posted: February 6, 2013  

Suggested Citation

Gilligan, George, The Problem of, and with, Financial Crime (July 19, 2012). Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly, Vol 63, No 4, pp.495-508, Winter 2012. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2212533

Contact Information

George Gilligan (Contact Author)
University of New South Wales ( email )
Centre for Law, Markets and Regulation
Faculty of Law
Sydney, New South Wales 2052
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