Criminalizing the Problem of Unexplained Wealth: Illicit Enrichment Offenses and Human Rights Violations
46 Pages Posted: 3 Apr 2015 Last revised: 16 Dec 2016
Date Written: August 13, 2013
This Article argues that despite the benefits of illicit enrichment for thwarting corruption, this offense violates fundamental human rights of the accused and therefore must be replaced by alternate enforcement mechanisms. Part I demonstrates how illicit enrichment surfaced as a mechanism to thwart global corruption and explores the pervasiveness of such corruption, the human rights infringements it causes, and the difficulties governments face in prosecuting corruption offenses. Part II provides a critical examination of the offense of illicit enrichment by investigating its background and history, dissecting its procedural and substantive elements, and detailing its widespread adoption. Using a human rights-oriented approach, Part III criticizes the offense for violating several fundamental rights of the accused. It illustrates how the offense impinges upon the presumption of innocence, the right to silence, and the privilege against self-incrimination. Part IV discusses alternative measures that combat the underlying issue of unexplainable wealth of public officials while also respecting the rights of the accused.
Keywords: Illicit Enrichment, Corruption, Self-Incrimination, Human Rights, International Law
JEL Classification: K14, K33, K42
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation