in Lying, Cheating, and Stealing

Published in print March 2007 | ISBN: 9780199225804
Published online January 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191708411 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Monographs on Criminal Law and Justice


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The significance of the norm against disloyalty (and the closely related concept of breach of trust) to our understanding of white-collar crime has been both over- and underestimated in the scholarly literature. On one hand, there are writers, such as Susan Shapiro, who have argued that violation of trust is the defining characteristic of white-collar crime. On the other hand, there are scholars such as John Coffee who have expressed considerable skepticism about the role that breach of trust should play in the criminal law. A more accurate assessment would arrive at a conclusion somewhere between these extremes. While the concept of disloyalty does play a significant role in defining certain key criminal offenses, such as bribery, treason, some acts of insider trading, and some frauds, it has little to do with many other core white collar offenses. This chapter explains the meaning of disloyalty, and foreshadows some of the ways that it plays a role in defining white-collar crime.

Keywords: disloyalty; criminal law; white-collar crime

Chapter.  4694 words. 

Subjects: Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law

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