Joint Committee on The Draft Corruption Bill Report


Annex 2: Table of international obligations

AgreementSummary of agreement Entry into force UK signedUK ratified Other comments
Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development

Convention on combating bribery of foreign public officials in international business transactions

Agreement currently legally binding on the UK

Requires member states to establish as a criminal offence intentionally offering, promising or giving an undue advantage to a foreign public official in return for that official acting or refraining from acting in the exercise of his or her functions, in order to obtain or retain business or other improper advantage in the conduct of international business. "Foreign public official" means:

Ø  any person holding a legislative, administrative or judicial office of a foreign country, whether appointed or elected

Ø  any person exercising a public function for a foreign country, including for a public agency or public enterprise

Ø  any official or agent of a public international organisation.

Member states must ensure that this criminal offence extends to legal persons and to money laundering where it is connected to the corruption offence.

Implementation of the Convention is monitored by the OECD Working Group on Bribery in International Business Transactions.

15 February 199917 December 1997 14 December 1998Currently implemented in the UK by Part 12 of the Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001.
Protocol to the Convention on the protection of the European Communities' financial interests

Agreement currently legally binding on the UK

Requires member states to ensure that the following conduct is made a criminal offence (where "official" means any European Community or national official):

·  an official who deliberately requests or accepts an undue advantage in return for acting or refraining from acting in the exercise of his or her functions in a way which is likely to damage the European Communities' financial interests

·  any person who deliberately promises or gives an undue advantage to an official in return for acting or refraining from acting in the exercise of his or her functions in a way which is likely to damage the European Communities' financial interests.

17 October 200227 September 1996 UK notified completion of its internal procedures on 11 October 1999


AgreementSummary of agreement Entry into force UK signedUK ratified Other comments
Council of Europe Criminal Law Convention on Corruption

Agreement in force but the UK has not yet ratified -- not currently legally binding on the UK

Requires member states to establish as a criminal offence:

·  either intentionally promising, offering or giving an undue advantage to the following persons, or the following persons requesting, receiving or accepting an undue advantage, in return for acting or refraining from acting in the exercise of his or her functions:

Ø  domestic or foreign public officials

Ø  members of domestic and foreign public assemblies and international parliamentary assemblies

Ø  directors or staff of private sector entities

Ø  officials of international organisations and judges and officials of international courts

·  either intentionally promising, offering or giving an undue advantage to anyone who asserts or confirms that he or she is able to exert an improper influence over the decision-making of any of the following persons, or accepting such an undue advantage (known as "trading in influence"):

Ø  domestic or foreign public officials

Ø  members of domestic and foreign public assemblies and international parliamentary assemblies

Ø  officials of international organisations

Ø  judges and officials of international courts

·  any money laundering of proceeds arising from the corruption offences specified in this convention.

Member states must ensure that the appropriate criminal offences extend to legal persons and to money laundering where it is connected to the corruption offences.

Implementation of the convention is monitored by GRECO (the Group of States against Corruption).

1 July 200227 January 1999 Not yet ratifiedThe UK has not ratified the Convention because it has not been in a position to do so, as the UK currently has no offence of trading in influence. The UK could enter a reservation to the offence of trading in influence to enable it to ratify the convention: of the 20 member states that have ratified the convention to date, seven have entered a full or limited reservation to the offence of trading in influence.


AgreementSummary of agreement Entry into force UK signedUK ratified Other comments
European Union Convention on the fight against corruption involving officials of the European Communities or officials of member states of the European Union

Agreement not yet in force but the UK has ratified -- not currently legally binding on the UK

Based on the offences set out in the Protocol to the Convention on the protection of the European Communities' financial interests (set out above) but broadens these offences by omitting the words "in a way which is likely to damage the European Communities' financial interests".

Consequently, requires member states to ensure that the following conduct is made a criminal offence (where "official" means any European Community or national official):

·  an official who deliberately requests or accepts an undue advantage in return for acting or refraining from acting in the exercise of his or her functions

·  any person who deliberately promises or gives an undue advantage to an official in return for acting or refraining from acting in the exercise of his or her functions

·  any head of business or person having power to take decisions or exercise control within a business who authorises a person under their authority to engage in active corruption.

Not yet in force25 June 1997 UK notified completion of its internal procedures on 11 October 1999 Article 13(3) of the Convention provides that the Convention will enter into force 90 days after the last member state has notified completion of its internal procedures. Neither Germany nor Luxembourg has yet given notification.
Council of Europe Civil Law Convention on Corruption

Agreement not in force and the UK has not yet ratified - not currently legally binding on the UK

Requires member states to provide that:

·  persons who have suffered damage as a result of corruption shall have the right to initiate an action in order to obtain full compensation for this damage. This includes actions against the state in the case of corruption by public officials. Compensation sought may cover material damage, loss of profits and non-pecuniary loss.

·  any clause of a contract providing for corruption shall be null and void

·  an employee who has reasonable grounds to suspect corruption and who reports in good faith his or her suspicions to the appropriate authorities shall be protected against any unjustified sanction.

Implementation of the Convention is monitored by GRECO.

Not yet in force8 June 2000 Not yet ratifiedRequires 14 ratifications before it can enter into force; currently has only 10 ratifications.


Draft Agreement Summary of agreement Entry into force UK signedUK ratified Other comments
United Nations Convention on Corruption

Draft agreement - not currently legally binding on the UK

This appears to be intended to be a comprehensive convention of broad application; it adopts a wide-ranging approach to corruption and matters associated with it, and is currently 85 clauses in length. In summary, the draft convention would:

·  apply to the prevention, investigation and prosecution of corruption and criminal acts related specifically to corruption

·  apply also to the recovery and return of assets and proceeds derived from corruption

·  require member states to criminalise acts of corruption irrespective of whether they involve the public or the private sector

·  seek to address the links between corruption and other forms of crime, particularly organised crime and economic crime, including money-laundering.

Not applicableNot applicable Not applicableCurrently, will require either 20 or 40 countries (the number is not yet decided) to ratify it before it can come into force.




 
previous page contents next page

House of Lords home page Parliament home page House of Commons home page search page enquiries index

© Parliamentary copyright 2003
Prepared 31 July 2003