Transparency International

This Anti-Corruption Helpdesk brief was produced in response to a query from one of Transparency International’s national chapters. The Anti-Corruption Helpdesk is operated by Transparency International and funded by the European Union

Query

Can give us information about the existence of anti-corruption measures in the different constitutions around the world?

Summary

In the last decade, there has been a growing tendency to include anti-corruption provisions in new or revised national constitutions, which reflects the increasing prominence of anti-corruption efforts both in the international arena and in many countries around the world. While most constitutions that address corruption seek to establish an independent anti-corruption agency, others list curbing corruption as a duty for the state and citizens alike. There are several permutations and combinations available to those looking for inspiration when it comes to embedding anti-corruption measures into their own constitution through the inclusion of clauses suitable to the needs of a particular environment. The challenge in many cases, however, comes down to the translation of laws into practice.

Contents

  1. Background
  2. Illustrative country cases of explicit anti-corruption constitutional clauses
  3. References

Main points

  • Anti-corruption clauses in constitutions may be implicit or explicit.
  • Constitutional measures dealing with corruption ought to be context specific.
  • Themes such as access to information, whistleblower protection and anti-money laundering (AML) have also made their way into certain constitutions.
  • Where an anti-corruption constitutional mandate exists, it needs to be supplemented with concrete implementation on the ground. In practice this often requires increasing the independence and capacity of oversight agencies.

Caveat

All country examples for constitutional anti-corruption clauses listed in this paper have been found in the public domain under relevant databases (i.e. The Constitute Project and Constitution Net)

Authors

Kaunain Rahman, tihelpdesk@transparency.org

Reviewer

Matthew Jenkins, Transparency International

Date

03/02/2021

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