Catching the 'Big Fish'? A Critical Analysis of the Current International and Regional Anti-Corruption Treaties
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
Date posted: November 18, 2008