MTA Law Working Papers

A Jogtudományi Intézet műhelytanulmányai

Hollán Miklós, Venczel Timea: Criminalisation and decriminalisation of active bribery of public officials in Hungary– an empirical analysis of knowledge and opinions about penal law

One of the objectives of our research project ‘Novelties of Criminal Law in Legal Consciousness’ was to explore the knowledge and opinions of everyday people towards criminal law (including its regulatory novelties). In this paper, the authors analyse the responses given to questions related to active bribery of public officials. The average person has a fragmentary knowledge about criminal law provisions on this topic. This is partly due to the fact that respondents, in comparison to the differentiation of the current legal regulation, usually give schematic answers to the questions. It was not substantiated, however, that legal knowledge on this topic is considerably affected by socio-economic factors or by media consumption. The answers given to the questions about knowledge were primarily influenced by the opinions of the respondents in relation to criminalisation. The content of the answers mirrors more the previous regulation than the current one. However, this does not necessarily show that the actual knowledge of the older regulation is better, but rather indicates the insensitivity of respondents towards the distinction on which the new regulation is based.