Corruption in an Era of Climate Change: Rebuilding Sint Maarten after Hurricane Irma

30 Pages Posted: 15 May 2018

Date Written: May 15, 2018

Abstract

In Orlando-Figueroa v. United States, a case involving the solicitation of bribes in exchange for cleanup contracts following Hurricane Georges, the court opinion opens succinctly: “Disasters are said to bring out the best and the worst in people.” As climate change begets more extreme weather events, governments must rise to meet the challenge of combatting “the worst” types of behavior such events bring out. Where climate change has a large effect and where corruption is already widespread – as is the case in Sint Maarten and other similarly situated small island developing states (SIDS) – governments are particularly susceptible. With a focus on four legal frameworks (criminal, ethical, environmental, and building, zoning, and public procurement) and their role in combatting corruption following an extreme weather event, this paper guides Sint Maarten in implementing a robust anti-corruption law and policy framework in the wake of Hurricane Irma, specifically tailored to its unique environment, culture, and history.

Keywords: Sint Maarten, Caribbean, Small island developing states, SIDS, corruption, anti-corruption, good governance, emergency prevention, emergency preparedness, money laundering, fraud, ethics, climate change, hurricane, extreme weather, natural disaster, emergency cleanup, emergency aid, emergency relief

JEL Classification: K10, K30

Suggested Citation

Gerges, Cindy and Hirschfeld, Gerry and Hutar, Claire and Salzman, Garrett and Sorensen, Juliet and Meyer, Elise, Corruption in an Era of Climate Change: Rebuilding Sint Maarten after Hurricane Irma (May 15, 2018). Northwestern Public Law Research Paper No. 18-13. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3179203 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3179203

Cindy Gerges

Northwestern University - Northwestern Pritzker School of Law ( email )

750 N. Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60611
United States

Gerry Hirschfeld

Northwestern University - Northwestern Pritzker School of Law ( email )

750 N. Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60611
United States

Claire Hutar

Northwestern University - Northwestern Pritzker School of Law ( email )

750 N. Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60611
United States

Garrett Salzman

Northwestern University - Northwestern Pritzker School of Law ( email )

750 N. Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60611
United States

Juliet Sorensen (Contact Author)

Northwestern University - Northwestern Pritzker School of Law

750 N. Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60611
United States

Elise Meyer

Northwestern University - Northwestern Pritzker School of Law ( email )

750 N. Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60611
United States

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