Corporate liability within the IACC framework – a proposal for enhanced corporate accountability

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Abstract

The current proposal for an International Anti-Corruption Court (IACC) provides a much-needed opportunity to assess the current state of global anti-corruption efforts and explore opportunities to enhance legal mechanisms to combat grand corruption and its harms. A missing component of the current IACC proposal is the potential to include corporate accountability within the scope of the Court. An important element of the corruption equation is the role of corporations as suppliers of bribes to corrupt officials and kleptocrats. Corporations can profit from continued public sector corruption and must be held accountable for their role in contributing to corruption on a grand and global scale. This article argues that the proposal for an IACC should include liability for legal persons (corporations), to strengthen the existing anti-corruption framework and support the emerging norm of corporate responsibility for contributing to crimes with global scope and impact. The article begins with a brief review of the proposal by Wolf, Goldstone and Rotberg for the development of an IACC. It then goes on to emphasis the role played by corporations in contributing to grand corruption, making the argument that ignoring their role weakens the potential for the proposed court to achieve its ambitious goals. Following this, the article surveys existing approaches to corporate liability for bribery, under international and domestic legal frameworks. It then presents possible avenues for inclusion of corporate liability within an IACC, noting some of the key challenges that must be addressed, including establishing a model for attributing corporate fault and ensuring the operation of the complementarity principle. The goal of the article is to provide a jumping off point for the continued academic exploration of corporate liability under international law, arguing that corruption and the development of an IACC provides the perfect opportunity to expand the scope of corporate liability and harden the mechanisms of corporate accountability at the international level.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)74-89
Number of pages16
JournalTransnational Criminal Law Review
Volume2
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2023. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.

Keywords

  • corruption
  • bribery
  • corporate liability
  • corporate accountability
  • corporate responsibility
  • international law
  • governance
  • compliance
  • law and policy
  • regulation

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