Scrutinizing the Powerful

Scrutinizingthe Powerful

Article # 1

Focus: The primary theme that comes about in the text isimpunity. Aspects of impunity are depicted by the state andcorporations such that the crimes that they commit go unpunished. Thetwo organs, state and corporations, exert the powers that they toensure that the crimes they commit go unnoticed and eventuallyunpunished (Garcia p200). by Tomband Whyte illustrate the degree of impunity by corporations wherethey commit crimes and fail to be held responsible for the same.

“…as part of their struggle to secure and maintain anincreasingly privileged position, it remains in the interest of thepowerful that certain activities be obscured, be as invisible andremain absent from public gaze and scrutiny as possible…” (Tombsand Whyte p5)

Corporate crime being hidden

  • The corporations have made it their business to ensure that the activities that are executed which are illegal are hidden from the public eye.

  • The powerful organs have taken it upon themselves that all the illegal activities that they undertake go unnoticed and that nothing gets to be done about them.

  • The fact that they are hidden means that eventually the crimes committed would not be punished.

Unlawful practices

  • Crimes committed by such powerful entities have a detrimental effect compared to the crimes perpetrated by the minor offenders.

  • The impact of criminal activities by minor offenders are negligible compared to that committed by the state and the corporations.

  • Nothing can be done about it since nobody seems to have the authority to hold such powerful organs accountable for their actions. Such is a reflection of the highest degree of impunity.

Article #2: The Obama Administration Could Repeat ItsBiggest Mistake of the Financial Crisis

Focus: Failure to prosecute corporations for malpractices.


  • Department of Justice that was suing Volkswagen for the illegally high amount of poisonous gases it was releasing.

  • No criminal charges were leveled against the company or its employees for the same.


  • Measures to be taken to have the company be held responsible for the illegal emissions.

  • Prosecution of the company officials

  • Compensation to those affected


An example of the impunity levels depicted by the corporations isthat presented by the case of the Department of Justice that wassuing Volkswagen for the illegally high amount of poisonous gases itwas releasing. It is unfortunate that no criminal charges wereleveled against the company or its employees for the same.


There is need to work on strict laws that will see companies be heldresponsible for any malpractice they engage.

The question that needs to be discussed is:

What should we do for the public to fight against the crimescommitted by the state and corporations? Have we run out of options?

Works Cited

Garcia, Alexandra.&quotCorporate Liability for International Crimes: A Matter of LegalPolicy Since

Nuremberg.&quotTul. J. Int`l &amp Comp. L. 24 (2015): 97-315.

Shahien Nasiripor.“The Obama Administration Could Repeat Its Biggest Mistake of theFinancial Crisis. Retrieved from

Steve, Tombs andDave Whyte. Scrutinizing the powerful: Crime, Contemporary Political

economy andcritical social research (2003)