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Catching the 'Big Fish'? A Critical Analysis of the Current International and Regional Anti-Corruption Treaties

Martine Boersma

Maastricht University, Faculty of Law

November 14, 2008

'Grand' corruption, i.e. corruption by public officials within the highest level of a State, is a phenomenon that can be found worldwide. But particularly in several developing countries the consequences of this type of corruption are devastating. For example, it has turned the presence of natural resources into a curse. Examples are numerous: Sani Abacha in Nigeria, Mobutu Sese Seko in Zaire and Charles Taylor in Liberia. Billions of dollars - gained through corruption - were transferred to foreign bank accounts, out of reach of the suffering population.

Since the 1990s, an unprecedented number of international and regional anti-corruption treaties has been adopted. Particularly notable is the United Nations Convention Against Corruption, an extensive global instrument. The current working paper discusses the content of the newly developed legal instruments and the accompanying monitoring mechanisms - if available. It also elaborates upon their positive aspects and shortcomings. More importantly, the following question will be answered: is it likely that the international and regional treaties will have a significant impact upon the incidence of grand corruption? In other words, can the 'big fish' finally be caught?

Number of Pages in PDF File: 42

Keywords: corruption, bribery, FCPA, IACAC, EU, OECD, COE, SADC, ECOWAS, AU, UNCAC

JEL Classification: K33

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Date posted: November 18, 2008  

Suggested Citation

Boersma, Martine, Catching the 'Big Fish'? A Critical Analysis of the Current International and Regional Anti-Corruption Treaties (November 14, 2008). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1301602 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1301602

Contact Information

Martine Boersma (Contact Author)
Maastricht University, Faculty of Law ( email )
PO Box 616
Maastricht, 6200 MD
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