Addressing the Corruption of Foreign Public Officials: Developments and Challenges Within the Canadian Legal Landscape

[2018] 56 Canadian Yearbook of International Law (Forthcoming)

32 Pages Posted: 2 Apr 2019

See all articles by Joanna Harrington

Joanna Harrington

University of Alberta - Faculty of Law

Date Written: January 15, 2019

Abstract

With 2018 marking the twentieth anniversary of Canada’s Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act, an opportunity presents itself to take stock of both developments and challenges for the legislative scheme. As demonstrated by a review of the parliamentary record, the desire to enact legislation to criminalize the offering of an inducement to a foreign public official to secure a business advantage was decidedly international in nature, with Canada aiming to bolster the efforts of others to create a level playing field for companies operating abroad. Yet, despite good intentions, as well as amendments to strengthen the Act in 2013 and the passage of additional transparency obligations in 2014, Canada’s legislative scheme has not kept pace with the international and multi-jurisdictional realities of the problem to be addressed. Renewed interest needs to be paid to the demand side of a foreign bribery transaction. In addition, the confiscation or forfeiture of any ill-gotten gains must become a priority, with the touting of success in securing the voluntary payment of sizeable fines failing to provide for a sufficient accounting for the wrongs done, particularly if the victims of corruption, even as a class that needs clearer definition, are to be made a true concern of the Act. The challenges posed by matters of immunity and the need to improve matters of multi-jurisdictional cooperation also need further attention.

Keywords: Canada, corruption, foreign bribery, foreign public officials, Griffiths Energy International, immunities, proceeds of crime, SNC-Lavalin, victims of crime, World Bank Group

JEL Classification: K14, K33, K22, K42

Suggested Citation

Harrington, Joanna, Addressing the Corruption of Foreign Public Officials: Developments and Challenges Within the Canadian Legal Landscape (January 15, 2019). [2018] 56 Canadian Yearbook of International Law (Forthcoming). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3347144

Joanna Harrington (Contact Author)

University of Alberta - Faculty of Law ( email )

Law Centre (111 - 89 Ave)
University of Alberta
Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2H5
Canada

HOME PAGE: http://www.joannaharrington.com

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