The Legal Approach to the Provocation of Bribe as a Variety of Provocation of Crime in Case-law of the European Court of Human Rights
Published: 15 February 2021
Abstract: The article gives a legal assessment of “provocation of bribe” as a kind of “provocation of crime”. The authors examine the relevant case-law of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) and find that the Court does not consider “provocation of bribe” as a provocation of a unique type of crime, but summarizes the situation of “provocation of crime”, including corruption crimes (including, giving a bribe, offering a bribe, receiving a bribe).The article pays special attention to the fact that the ECHR considers complaints of provocation of bribery in the context of the rights provided for in of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. The Court’s position is that the existence of a proven provocation of a crime deprives a person of a fair trial from the very beginning of the proceedings. The article analyzes the signs of incitement to crime, which are an integral part of provocation of crime.The article emphasizes that the ECHR, when considering relevant cases, refers exclusively to the procedural aspect of bribery provocation, assessing the extent to which the bribery provocation affected the quality of the evidence obtained as a result. In case of considering relevant cases in the national court, the ECHR places the positive obligation to prove the absence of incitement (as a key sign of provocation of a crime) primarily on the prosecution.Based on the analysis of the case-law of the European Court of Human Rights, the authors draw attention to the fact that covert investigative and operational actions must be carried out in a passive way so as not to create any pressure on a person to commit a crime.The case-law of the ECHR also provides an opportunity to determine the limits of national courts’ examination of situations in which a defendant claims to be a victim of a “provocation of crime”. The national court must find out the following: 1) motives of decision-making on a covert action; 2) the degree of participation of the law enforcement agency in the commission of the crime; 3) the nature of any incitement or pressure experienced by the applicant; 4) reliable information about the defendant’s participation in such criminal activity.
Keywords: Decision making / Bribe / Case Law / ECHR / crime.The / provocation of crime / find that the Court
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