Corporate liability for bribery—in favour of systematic approach

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Abstract

This article argues in favour of a systematic approach to corporate liability for all bribery offences, including commercial bribery. Australia’s Banking Royal Commission and numerous international corruption scandals have demonstrated a ‘culture of corruption’ in our corporations. Australia has taken steps to strengthen the laws that criminalise foreign bribery, but there has been less interest in addressing the legal approach to commercial bribery. This article uses a comparative methodology to demonstrate that many of the arguments in favour of strict liability for corporations in cases of public sector and foreign bribery can also be applied to commercial bribery. A comparison of anti-bribery laws across common-law jurisdictions (Australia, United Kingdom and United States) illustrates opportunities to streamline the legal approach. Streamlining the legal approach to corporate liability for all bribery offences, including commercial bribery, will simplify compliance and incentivise adoption of policies and practices aimed at reducing corrupt conduct in commercial transactions. This, in turn, will result in meaningful changes in corporate culture.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)309-329
Number of pages21
JournalCurrent Issues in Criminal Justice
Volume32
Issue number3
Early online date26 Sep 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Keywords

  • commercial bribery
  • comparative law
  • corporate crime
  • corporate liability
  • corruption
  • strict liability

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