Legislative frameworks on substantive offences
Having explored important international and regional standards on transnational organised crime in the previous two chapters, this chapter will now proceed to examine how they are incorporated and implemented in practice at the national level through the case studies of Northern Ireland (UK) and the Republic of Ireland. It provides an overview of the key legislative frameworks on organised crime offences with a particular focus on participation in organised criminal groups; human trafficking; drug offences; and fiscal/excise fraud, such as fuel and tobacco smuggling, which have been identified as priority areas in both jurisdictions. It begins with an analysis of the definitions of organised crime/ criminal groups that are stipulated in the respective legislations. It then explores the legislative frameworks for the aforementioned offences in both jurisdictions, including their punishment provisions. It will be shown that the legislative frameworks in both jurisdictions are largely in conformity with the international and regional standards explored in the previous chapters. Given that both the UK and the Republic of Ireland are based on the common law tradition and have a shared history, many similarities can be perceived in the legislative frameworks. However, some differences also exist, which demonstrates the importance of State sovereignty in action against transnational organised crime. In addition, whilst the identified crimes in Northern Ireland are mainly regulated through Westminster Acts of Parliament as they are regarded as reserved matters, the devolution of policing and criminal justice in this jurisdiction is gradually making some differences in terms of policy development and law enforcement.