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2019 | Special Issue | 45-58

Article title

Limits of criminal liability of police officers - historical-legal study


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Misuse of power is a crime that threatens the proper functioning of state institutions, undermining trust in the system of power, and creates a particular sense of injustice among the citizens who come into contact with it. Service in the Police puts before each officer a number of duties, resulting from the provisions of law contained in acts, regulations as well as decisions and orders of superiors. Few professions are so ethically demanding and so full of moral conflicts. No other profession requires making moral judgements about the behaviours of other people, and using in response to these behaviours appropriate social reactions, based on moral reasons. The crime of abuse of function involves the exceeding of powers or failure of a public officer to perform his duties, and such abuse of power must be to the detriment of a public or private interest. Acting to the detriment means that the offender's conduct poses a threat to any public or private good. The crime of abuse of power consists in the action of an entity having specific duties and powers in the public sphere, where that action consists in exceeding the powers or failing to fulfil the obligations to the detriment of a legally protected good. In each case a number of activities are required to establish the source of the right or obligation of a public officer to take specific actions, to define the addressee and the content of the right or obligation, and in the event that the public officer is under an obligation to act, also to determine the moment of updating the obligation. Furthermore, an indication of the part of the actual conduct of the offender which was directly related to a specific prohibition or order and a demonstration that the actual conduct of a public officer was contrary to that prohibition or order. Exceeding the powers by a public officer should be considered a specific type of factual and formal event, when there is a breach of an official order or prohibition binding on this person.





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