Topic: Criminalising organised crime: Austrian and European perspectives

Presenter: Professor Susanne Reindl-Krauskopf - Professor of Law, University of Vienna

Austria's 'criminal organisation' offence in the Penal Code has a checkered and often controversial history. Austria has only recently amended this provision, restricting the scope of the offence to organisations aiming at large scale unjust enrichment. This presentation explores the evolution and background of the criminal organisation offence and outlines the reasons behind the recent amendment. This is done against the background of relevant legal instruments adopted by the European Union and the United Nations.

The presentation examines questions such as "Is the PKK (Partiya Karkerên Kurdistan, Kurdish Workers' Party) a criminal or rather a terrorist organization?" or "Is it fair to prosecute animal rights activists for the offence of being a member of a criminal organization?", and provides an overview over further offences dealing with criminal groups.

The presentation also highlights some of the intersections between these offences and special measures in Austrian police law and criminal procedure. 

Contact: Beth Williams, ph: 334 69350, email:

About Research Seminar Series

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