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Czechia

Plan format and choice of themes [page 8]

“… there are certain cases under Czech law where Czech citizens and nationals can be prosecuted for violations of human rights abroad. These include the criminal-law tenets of personality and universality [Sections 6, 7 and 8 of Act No 40/2009, the Criminal Code.]. As a result, the Czech Republic has laid solid foundations and is systemically conditioned for human rights protection.”

Criminal liability of legal persons in the field of human rights [page 11]

“While the state carries primary responsibility for human rights protection in its territory, in today’s interconnected age the stringent application of the principle of territoriality is impossible. The Czech Republic has decided that – whether unilaterally or on the strength of an international treaty – it will prosecute certain unlawful conduct by Czech nationals irrespective of where this conduct occurs. As such, it is assuming responsibility for the conduct of its nationals (including businesses) abroad, thus making it possible to fill in the regulatory gap to some extent in those cases where such conduct is not punishable under another country’s law.

Current state of play: …

  • Czech law allows a Czech citizen or a legal person established in the Czech Republic to be prosecuted even if they committed their crime abroad.
  • Foreign nationals and legal persons perpetrating a crime to the benefit of a Czech legal person may also be prosecuted.
  • Under Czech law, the most serious human rights violations can be prosecuted regardless of the perpetrator’s nationality or where such violations occurred. [The criminal acts listed in Section 7(1) of Act No 40/2009, the Criminal Code]
  • The Czech Republic is party to a number of international treaties on legal assistance and on the prosecution of various types of international criminal activity, including the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions.

Task:

  • Evaluate the impacts and practical application of the new text of the Act on the Criminal Liability of Legal Persons. If it transpires that the legislation still has loopholes impeding or preventing the prosecution of serious violations of human rights, propose amendments to the law.
    Coordinator: Ministry of Justice
    Deadline: 31 December 2018”
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