CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Friday, October 30, 2020

Harris on Corporate Liability for Bribery

Hannah Harris (Macquarie Law School) has posted Corporate Liability for Bribery – in Favour of Systematic Approach (Current Issues in Criminal Justice, Forthcoming) on SSRN. Here is the 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, UK, and USA) 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; promoting meaningful changes in corporate culture. Enhancing ethical corporate culture and reducing corruption and misconduct in commercial transactions is necessary to protect society, safeguard market efficiency and ensure economic stability in an increasingly interconnected world.

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