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UEL law academic delivers training to new judges in Azerbaijan

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Council of Europe invited Dr Costantino Grasso to deliver seminars to 126 trainee judges

A financial crime and corporate governance lecturer at the University of East London has delivered a series of high-level seminars to 126 trainee judges in Azerbaijan.

Dr Costantino Grasso (pictured left) was asked by the Council of Europe to give the seminars at the Judicial Academy of Baku, Azerbaijan on 28 and 29 September.

The Council of Europe is comprised of 47 member states, including 28 European Union nations, tasked with upholding human rights. Azerbaijan is among the non-EU members.

The training sessions were part of the Council’s ‘Strengthening capacities to fight and prevent corruption in Azerbaijan’ project, aimed at combating and preventing corruption in the country.

“This appointment gave me the exciting opportunity to contribute to such an ambitious aim and, in particular, to support the global efforts to fight corruption in a country that is rich in terms of natural resources but plagued by pervasive criminal activity,” said Dr Grasso, who teaches on UEL’s postgraduate LLM law programmes.

Dr Grasso explained that his seminars to the judges set out the case for adopting stricter legal rules to attribute criminal liability to corporations.

Looking at new laws in the country, Dr Grasso examined areas including the threshold of suspicion necessary to trigger a corporate crime investigation, and a rule which allows courts to ban commercial restructuring operations which provide a way for legal entities to evade criminal prosecution.

Dr Grasso said, “In my final report to the Council of Europe for this project, I provided them with a series of recommendations that could assist local authorities in finding a solution to the issues the attribution of corporate liability to corporations poses.”

Dr Grasso’s previous work includes being part of an award-winning team at the Serious Fraud Office, which investigates cases of transnational fraud and corruption.