Policing Corruption and Corporations in Australia: Towards a New National Agenda.
Criminal Law Journal, 37 5: 283-295.
14 Pages Posted: 4 Jun 2015
Date Written: 2013
Local and international public opinion polls suggest that Australia is a low-risk country in terms of corruption. This article challenges this reputation contending that the relative invisibility of corruption in Australia is the result of low levels of enforcement of existing laws, and the political failure to implement a co-ordinated national strategy against corruption. As a result, Australia has become increasingly vulnerable to corrupt overseas politicians seeking a safe haven for their illicit assets. These enforcement vulnerabilities extend also to cases of foreign bribery perpetrated offshore by Australian corporations, employees and agents. Enforcement of foreign bribery offences in Australia, unlike the equivalent United Kingdom offences, is hampered by an overly broad defence which excuses “facilitation payments” that otherwise would constitute acts of bribery. The conclusion is that an urgent review of the effectiveness and scope of anti-corruption laws is needed, combined with a much stronger political and law enforcement commitment to tackle corruption at home and abroad.
JEL Classification: k00
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation