Anti-money Laundering Law: Socio-legal Perspectives on the Effectiveness of German Practices

  • Verena Zoppei

Part of the International Criminal Justice Series book series (ICJS, volume 12)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiv
  2. Verena Zoppei
    Pages 1-6
  3. Instructions for the Socio-Legal Research

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 7-7
    2. Verena Zoppei
      Pages 9-30
  4. The Genesis of the Anti-Money Laundering Regime: Tracing Statements of Legislative Purposes

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 31-31
    2. Verena Zoppei
      Pages 33-68
  5. The Integration of Article 261 in the German Criminal Code

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 83-83
  6. The Implementation of the Anti-Money Laundering Regime: Between Law in Action and Law Inaction

  7. Conclusions

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 207-207
    2. Verena Zoppei
      Pages 209-211
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 213-214

About this book


In the aftermath of recent multiple leaks such as the Panama Papers, the Swiss leaks, the Lux

leaks, and the Bahama leaks, this book offers an interesting view on the underlying conflicting

interests that impede the adoption of more effective legislation to stop money laundering

by way of the financial system.

The central position of the book is that the declared goals underlying the criminalization of

money laundering have not been fulfilled. The effectiveness of the anti-money laundering

regime in Germany is assessed by examining the indirect effects, collateral consequences,

and positive interpretations of the law in action and of the law inaction; reducing the issue

to a question of symbolic effectiveness does not reflect the complexity of the matter. What is

demonstrated, is that the goals attributed to the regime were too ambitious, and that a lower

degree of effectiveness has been accepted in order to balance the inherent political, economic

and financial conflicting interests.

Unlike other volumes focusing on this issue, this book deals with the implementation of the

legislation and the consequences thereof, and is primarily aimed at legal sociologists, sociology

of law researchers, criminal lawyers, criminologists with an interest in white collar crime and

political scientists studying measures against illicit financial flows and the concrete implementation

of anti-money laundering laws. The book will be of interest to both international

policymakers and consultants as well as their counterparts in Germany for instance working

on improving the instruments to fight organized crime and prevent the financing of

terrorism through money laundering.

The complexity of the anti-money laundering regime and all the variables are exhaustively

and critically reviewed in the assessment, thereby providing complete instructions for future

legislative steps. The case study regarding the situation in Germany maximizes readers’ insights

into concrete effects of the implementation of international anti-money laundering standards

at a national level, and the opinions of professionals work

ing in the field and of experts on the

law-making process are also illuminating. Moreover, the book equips non-German speakers

with the information needed to deal with the extensive German legal scholarly production on

article 261 of the German criminal code and the current internal political debate on the matter.

Verena Zoppei is a Fellow Researcher at the International Security Division of the German

Institute for International and Security Affairs in Berlin.


Money Laundering Offence Legal Effectiveness Financial Action Task Force European Anti-Money Laundering Directives Article 261 of the German Criminal Code Panama Leaks Swiss Leaks Bahama Leaks

Authors and affiliations

  • Verena Zoppei
    • 1
  1. 1.International Security DivisionGerman Institute for International and Security AffairsBerlinGermany

Bibliographic information