Legal questions on nancial
Criminal punishment penalties versus
private law remedies
Department of European Studies and International Integration,
University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy
Purpose – The purpose of this study is to underline the impact that globalization of nancial markets
has on national punishment policies. The US nancial crisis has strongly affected consumers’ lives, but
the focus of this research is on the national provisions against the illegal and unfair behaviour of
economic actors, with special regard to a phenomenon that took place abroad, but whose effects came to
light in many different countries.
Design/methodology/approach – Different methodological approaches, both deductive and
inductive, are combined in the present paper, together with comparative and philosophical insights on
national Court decisions and scholar writings.
Findings – As European Union (EU) member States experts are discussing about a lex mercatoria for
the nancial markets to govern the EU integration process, this study highlights some questions
concerning mainly three aspects: the level of censorship; forms and nature of responsibility; punitive
models and their micro- and macro-economic effects.
Originality/value – The study offers insights into the possible answers in terms of criminal and
private law remedies to ght nancial market abuse in a global dimension, through the use of general
principles of contractual and tort law, which are common among EU member State, as culpa in eligendo,
culpa in vigilando, duty of information, duty of care, ecc […] .
Keywords Criminal and private law remedies, Shame culture and ethic of care, EU legal systems,
Paper type Research paper
The aim of the present study is to underline the impact that globalization of nancial
markets has on national punishment policies.
The US nancial crisis has strongly affected consumers’ lives, but the focus of this
research is on the Italian provisions towards the illegal and unfair behaviour of
economic actors with special regard to a phenomenon that took place abroad, but whose
effects came to light in many different countries.
UK miss-selling Payment Protection Insurance and interest rate swaps and Libor
xing all demonstrate why nancial institutions must change. In the UK, the banking
crises of 2008 cost the UK taxpayer hundreds of billions of pounds (Wegrzyn and
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Journalof Financial Crime
Vol.22 No. 1, 2015
©Emerald Group Publishing Limited