Țuca Zbârcea & Asociații Criminal Law

1. Can a legal entity be held liable under the current Criminal Code?


The Criminal Code (Articles 135 to 151) provides for the possibility of directly indicting the legal entity, which may be held liable for the actions of any of its bodies or representatives acting during its business, in its interest and/or on its behalf.

The Criminal Code also requires that collective entities have legal personality at the time of the crime in order to be liable under criminal law. In this view, the High Court of Cassation and Justice, Criminal Law Division, decided that an individual enterprise which is not a legal entity cannot be held liable under Article 135 of the Criminal Code (Decision No. 1/2016).

The State and public authorities do not fall within the category of persons that can be held liable under criminal law. However, public institutions are not generally exempt from criminal liability. The scope of exemption from criminal liability of these subjects is solely in relation to actions performed during an activity pertaining to the public domain, which cannot be equally carried out by private law entities.

The criminal liability of the legal entity may be cumulated with the that of the individual who perpetrated the crime. However, these two types of liability are not wholly interdependent.

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