Pepeliaev Group’s lawyers took part in a session of the Expert Board with the involvement of Boris Titov dedicated to issues of administrative prejudice
Administrative prejudice is a principle according to which a person is subject to criminal liability provided that such person had previously been held administratively liable for a similar offence. This initiative has already been articulated in the Commissioner’s Annual Reports, but has never been supported.
At the session the risks were also discussed relating to the expansion of the practice of businesses being subject to criminal liability. The participants of the discussion concluded that the specified issue should be treated with the maximum care.
The members of the Expert Board intend as soon as possible to explore the issue of administrative liability being applied to the most evident elements of offences for which the following articles of the Russian Criminal Code provide: 171.1 (violation of labelling rules), 180 (unlawful use of means of identification of goods) and 198 (evasion of taxes on individuals).
The initiation of the specified discussion appears to be even more relevant in the light of the latest instructions of the Russian Prime Minister, Dmitry Medvedev, aiming to “regain the trust of businessmen in the state’s law enforcement system”.
The issue of whether administrative prejudice is possible with regard to tax crimes caused heated debate. Vadim Zaripov answered that before proposing administrative prejudice on tax cases, a clear line should be drawn between the non-payment of taxes and deliberate tax evasion. “Otherwise a simplified understanding of tax evasion will become even more pronounced," he warned. "Liability will be imposed only for the mere fact of a repeated offence being committed, which fact will be treated as confirmation of public danger. All of these elements of the offence must be very clearly delineated.”
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