Social research about online crime is a multi-disciplinary field addressing a wide array of topics since its inception in the 1980s. Based on a broad review of state-of-the-art literature and gaps identified in review publications (Holt, Bossler 2014; Stratton, Powell, Cameron 2017; Maimon, Louderback 2019, and others), in this paper I outline 41 key topic in social research about online crime, classified into four broad categories: 1) research focusing on specific types of online crime, 2) research about perpetrators, victims, and law enforcement, 3) research about online crime discourses and public perceptions, 4) research putting the local and global specifics of online crime into perspective. Based on the topic map, I undertook a systematic review of literature on research about online crime published in Lithuania from the empirical social scientific perspective. The results show that very few such studies are carried out in Lithuania. From 2004 to 2020, 26 publications have been found in total. 10 of them were theoretical briefs, while 16 were based on empirical data. Out of the 41 key topic, 14 were covered in the publications, while 29 or roughly two thirds remained unaddressed. The dominant contributors were legal scholars writing about the social aspects of online crime across a variety of topics, and mostly focusing on specific crime types. The most developed topic was cyberbullying, with contributions by scholars mostly from the fields of psychology and education. To fill in these glaring gaps, it is vital to develop this field of research with an emphasis on both wider and deeper research agendas, complex, valid and reliable research data and critical theoretical approaches, inviting systematic contributions from criminology, sociology, communication and media studies, and political science.
The internationally acknowledged need for effective legal measures against illicit enrichment that is perceived as the key policy tool against organised crime and corruption triggered rapid developments in the variety of those legal measures. Lithuania may serve as a sole-standing example of a jurisdiction that enacted a great variety of legal strategies against illicit enrichment – criminal liability both for money laundering and illicit enrichment and also extended powers of confiscation, civil confiscation and tax fines for unexplained income. This diversity of measures leads to the issue of competition arising between them and also carries the risk that measures may be used repeatedly and arbitrarily against persons and their property.The paper focuses on the issue of the legitimacy of repeated investigation and assessment of suspicious assets in civil confiscation proceedings and extended powers of confiscation.The analysis is divided into two parts where fundamentally different legal situations are discussed. In the first situation, repeated assessment of the origin of the assets takes place in proceedings of similar legal nature (proceedings aiming to restore legal order). The second situation appears where reassessment takes place in proceedings of a different nature – in the restorative proceedings after failure to prove the illicit origin of the assets in the punitive proceedings.While the first situation rather clearly falls within the scope of the principle of legal certainty and the rule res judicata that prohibit repeated proceedings for the same issue in the same circumstances against the same person, the second situation is more open to debate. Punitive proceedings use the standard of proof beyond reasonable doubt and the presumption of innocence is in play. These safeguards are designed to protect defendants from unfounded conviction, but they may be considered excessive for other legal issues such as the recovery of damages or the proceeds of illicit activities. In addition, in the context of civil confiscation, public interest in effective protection from organised crime and corruption comes into play. Therefore, there are strong arguments for giving priority to public safety over the principle of legal certainty that would protect defendants from repeated assessment of their assets in other proceedings with a lower standard of proof or even the reversed presumption of the illegality of unexplained wealth.Finally, the paper addresses the question of whether extended powers of confiscation qualify for restorative or punitive proceedings. The answer to this question is the key argument of whether civil confiscation proceedings can legitimately follow criminal proceedings where the court failed to confiscate the assets on the grounds of extended powers of confiscation. The paper argues that extended powers of confiscation are of a restorative nature. Therefore, when assets have already been investigated in proceedings of civil confiscation and their origin has been assessed as lawful in the light of extended powers of confiscation, re-consideration of their origin should be deemed as infringing the principle of legal certainty, unless the decision in the criminal proceedings was barred by lack of formal grounds.
This article examines recent regulation in the sport of chess with a focus on cheating. On the one hand, disciplinary law in chess could be considered relatively underdeveloped compared with other sports. On the other hand, however, this kind of ‘underdevelopment’ might be appropriate since chess governing bodies have not yet introduced interventionist rules. These two interacting perspectives shape the aim and the objectives of legal research designed to protect the chess community from cheating by suggesting adequate disciplinary measures. The analysis focuses mainly on two forms of cheating: computer-assisted cheating and match-fixing. The broad concept of cheating and relatively young legal regulation in an under-researched sport call for interdisciplinary analysis, therefore, knowledge of sports law, human rights as well as criminology is applied.
Taking together all the evidence on the aetiology, development and differential processes of delinquent behaviour from childhood to adulthood, we dispose of important new evidence from the neurosciences, which, compared to traditional criminological, developmental, psychological and sociological evidence, increases our capacity to explain the age-crime curve. In particular, the right-hand side of the curve, indicating desistance from crime in young adulthood between the ages of 18 and 25, can be based on new insights from neuroscientific research on brain maturation and the development of self-control mechanisms. As a result, new questions about judicial reactions and interventions must be raised. If an individual’s brain is fully matured only in the mid-twenties, general criminal law is possibly inappropriate, and a specific youth or young-adult criminal law reflecting the transitional processes and the diminished culpability of young-adult offenders should rather be applied. In many European jurisdictions, the scope of youth justice has been extended upwards to 18–20 year-old adults, in the Netherlands even up to 22 years of age, a political decision affecting criminality and based on new neuroscientific evidence.
The aim of this paper is to outline and critically analyse the ethical dilemmas faced by criminologists tasked with online community research. Online communities and online content serve as a valuable sources of criminological knowledge about online crime and deviance as well as formal and informal norm-making and means of social control. From discussion forum texts and blogs to multimedia posts in open and closed social networking groups, from visual and video materials on Instagram, Youtube, or Tiktok to organized crime group data exchanges in publicly inaccessible communication channels, there is great diversity and variety of the contents and forms of online communication enacted by online communities. Correspondingly, research projects are different – some focusing on the content as a linguistic object, others focusing on social relations, social network structure, and its ethnographic characteristics, while many fall in between. In addition, depending on the research goals and sensitivity of the research questions, researchers may opt for active interaction or passive (and sometimes covert) observation. Therefore there is no one-size-fits-all ethical solution for approaching online communities in criminology. Based on an in-depth analysis of methodological literature, the paper suggests that online community research is largely a matter of situational ethics, wherein researchers must make situation-aware ethical decisions about several key issues. In particular, they should aim to choose and provide arguments regarding: 1) expectations of publicity or privacy in publicly accessible information; 2) the need for informed consent or absence of such need; 3) ensuring balance between anonymity and authorship attribution; 4) securing collected data; and 5) correctly assessing risks to the researched individuals and communities, and the researchers themselves.
This article presents the specific rhetoric of social control present in the sections of national and municipal legislation pertaining to conduct in public spaces of Vilnius, Lithuania.Theoretically, the paper utilises M. Foucault’s framework of power modalities both because of Foucault’s engaged questioning of power and the applicability of his insights to the spatial dimensions of the city. The paper bases its interpretive scheme on two premises: a) that law reveals biopolitical and disciplinary aspects of social control; and b) that urban public space presents a valuable case for the analysis of these aspects.A qualitative content analysis of national and municipal legislation has revealed that national legislation is driven by biopolitical objectives and municipal legislation by disciplinary ones. The national legislation focuses the regulation of public space on public order, public calm, and public dignity – public mores that must be upheld in the interest of the population and expanding beyond strictly public space. Disciplinarity is evident in municipal legislation insofar as it breaks space up into governable fragments, imposing painstakingly detailed prohibitions and obligations, and building a hierarchy inside the population between the desired and subnormal subject.
The article deals with the international and national mechanisms used to place new psychoactive substances under control. The authors provide an overview of the systems in use in the United Nations and the European Union, as well as in many European and other states, to criminalize newly emerging psychoactive substances, as well as propose certain legislative changes that could be adapted in the European Union to make the procedures of criminalization more straightforward. The article also provides for an overview and analysis of legal formulations used to define new psychoactive substances in different European and other states: list approach, generic scheduling, blanket bans, regulation through the laws on consumer protection and health protection, establishing legal markets for new psychoactive substances.
Based on 22 semi-structured interviews with 24 young ex-offenders in Estonia, this article looks at the effect that stigmatization has on the reintegration of young ex-offenders. The study looks at to what extent and in which domains ex-offenders experience stigma, how they manage it, and what effect it has on social participation and involvement. The results indicate that young ex-offenders experience stigma while looking for jobs and accommodation and when interacting with the criminal justice system. The strategies for managing stigma mostly include secrecy and withdrawal. These strategies are closely related to self-stigmatization, low societal participation, and a low level of trust toward state institutions.
Taking a social constructionists perspective, the article presents not widely known sides in the development of modern Lithuanian criminology related to the emergence, formation and development of criminological studies at Vilnius University. Since the emergence of the first criminological courses in Lithuanian academic institutions, they, as in other European continent universities, were usually taught in law faculties and schools. However, in the mid of 1990s, a unique situation occurred at Vilnius University, where sociologists and psychologists started teaching criminological courses at the Faculty of Philosophy. Later, in 1999, with the methodical help of the Faculty of Law, the teaching staff of the Faculty of Philosophy developed and implemented two-year masters programs in sociological and psychological criminology.The gained educational experience in managing and implementing interdisciplinary criminology programs at Vilnius University paved the way for introducing in 2017 new interdisciplinary bachelor study programme in criminology. On the one hand, the emergence of such studies would be impossible without long-term close and constructive collaboration between the sociologists, psychologists and lawyers of Vilnius University and, on the other, - without the active involvement of the new generation of young criminologists in the educational process. Authors emphasise, that the emergence and development of the criminology studies in Lithuania was influenced by both the developmental context of criminology at European and North American universities and the methodological and organisational support, which Lithuanian criminologists had been receiving from their colleagues from western academic institutions.Authors also present and describe the developmental process of both master and bachelor studies: they introduce the leaders, organisers and lecturers of these programs, observe their structure and inner consistency, analyse the role of interdisciplinarity in organising criminology studies. The article identifies the challenges and problems facing both the teaching and learning processes and their potential solutions, which should ensure the quality of studies, their correspondence to the state-of-art methods in criminological research and practical needs of contemporary society.
The aim of this article is to research the concept and different definitions of gender-based violence in Lithuanian society during the late Soviet period and the first decade of Lithuanian independence. These different definitions of gender-based violence are reconstructed and presented in the different discourses of criminological knowledge and beliefs: a) the expert criminological discourse; b) the so-called discourse of the ‘well-informed citizens’; c) the so-called discourse of the ‘people from the street’. The theory of three different criminilogical discourses in Lithuanian crimininology is developed by Aleksandras Dobryninas but based on theoretical insights of Alfred Schütz. The article analyzes the third level from the perspectives‘ of the victims of gender-based violence.