Tuesday, February 15, 2011
The United Kingdom has enacted what appears to be the world's most comprehensive bribery statute. The Unlike other statutes that criminalize payments only to foreign government officials, the UK Bribery Act extends the prohibition on bribery to many others, including individuals. Questions arose on a large number of topics, including (for example) whether taking a client to dinner would now constitute bribery under the new law.
The Bribery Act was supposed to enter into force in April, but the Financial Times informs us that the British Ministry of Justice failed to meet a January deadline to produce essential supporting guidance. The British government has accordingly delayed the effective date of the UK Bribery Act until three months after the guidance is published.
If you would like to read more about the UK Bribery Act, click here for a summary of its provisions by Pulina Whitaker from the law firm King & Spaulding.