Prohibiting Bribery of Foreign Public Officials - Implications for Corporate Criminal Liability

Company and Securities Law Journal, Vol. 16, pp. 384-388, 1998

10 Pages Posted: 15 Aug 2006  

Jennifer G. Hill

The University of Sydney Law School ; European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

Abstract

In the late 1990s, it was announced that Australia would introduce legislation to respond to an OECD Convention for criminalizing bribery of foreign public officials. This was part of a coordinated international OECD initiative. The US had already addressed such issues two decades earlier under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977.

This paper discusses the rationales for prohibiting bribery of foreign public officials and the scope of the draft Australian provisions, which were designed to enforce the OECD Convention. The paper specifically focuses on the broader implications of the bribery offence for corporate criminal liability. It discusses when payment of a bribe by an employee or officer to a foreign public official may result in corporate criminal liability, and the mechanisms through which corporations might protect themselves from such liability.

The issues raised in this paper are discussed in more detail in a later companion article, "Corporate Criminal Liability in Australia: An Evolving Governance Technique?", Journal of Business Law, p. 1, 2003 (available at http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=429220), which analyzes the contours of the Criminal Code Amendment (Bribery of Foreign Public Officials) Act 1999 against the backdrop of general corporate criminal liability.

Keywords: Corporate governance, OECD Convention, corporate crime, bribery, criminal liability, organizational blameworthiness, corporate culture, privilege against self-incrimination

JEL Classification: G34, G38, J38, K22, K33, K40, K42, M14

Suggested Citation

Hill, Jennifer G., Prohibiting Bribery of Foreign Public Officials - Implications for Corporate Criminal Liability. Company and Securities Law Journal, Vol. 16, pp. 384-388, 1998. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=924150

Jennifer G. Hill (Contact Author)

The University of Sydney Law School ( email )

New Law Building, F10
The University of Sydney
Sydney, NSW 2006
Australia
+61 2 9351 0280 (Phone)
+61 2 9351 0200 (Fax)

European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

c/o ECARES ULB CP 114
B-1050 Brussels
Belgium

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