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

Does Transparency International have any information on responsibility of legal persons and sanctions against legal persons in international perspective?

PURPOSE

The Ministry of Justice has asked us to comment on a legal proposal with fairly short notice. As a part of our answer, we would like to draw on some comparable experiences of other countries. These countries are Austria, France, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States. The two relevant dimensions are the responsibility of legal persons and sanctions against legal persons.

CONTENT

1. Liability of legal persons for corruption
2. Country examples
3. References

SUMMARY

Liability of legal persons for corruption is one of the requirements of the most important international instruments against corruption, such as the United Nations Convention against Corruption, the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention and the Council of Europe Convention on Corruption.

In recent years, many countries across the world have reformed their anti-corruption legislation to include corporate criminal, civil or administrative liability among its provisions. This answer analyses related regulations in Austria, France, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States. All of these countries have fairly comprehensive laws in place. However, application is uneven across countries. While it is early to assess the impact of such laws, lack of implementation could also be explained by a lack of awareness and understanding of the law by prosecutorial authorities.

Authors

Maíra Martini, Transparency International, tihelpdesk@transparency.org

Date

18/05/2012

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