THe Criminal Sanctions of Commercial Deceptions in Ethiopia: Could It Contribute to the Reduction of Commercial Disputes?
It has been contended that criminalization of commercial wrongs would chill economic activities due to the over-deterrence effect of criminal sanctions. However, a growing amount of legal literature has emerged in this area and it has indicated that deceptive commercial behaviors deserve criminal sanctions since they involve the type of wrong that characterizes criminal blameworthiness under the conventional criminal law. Particularly, criminal sanction in the form of imprisonment is viewed as a more coercive threat to deceptive commercial practice. Relying on the deterrence/rational choice theory and the empirical evidences that support it, this article contends that reliance on criminal sanction can effectively deter commercial deceptions compared to civil sanction provided under the private law. Finally, it is concluded that the severity of criminal sanctions designed to deter crimes of commercial deceptions under the Ethiopian Criminal Law could potentially contribute to the reduction of commercial disputes.
Keywords: businessperson, commercial, crimes, deception, deterrence, disputes, Ethiopia, regulatory, sanction