An adequate procedural defence is an essential feature of section 7 of the Corruption Act. The Department of Justice has issued defensive guidelines that include six principles designed to inform organizations about the appropriate policies and procedures they can implement to prevent corruption. These principles are as follows: These offences all apply equally to foreign and domestic bribery. The main characteristics of the main violations of the Law on Corruption, as well as the rules on the liability and competence of legal persons, are dealt with in detail in section IV. 7 www.sfo.gov.uk/2021/08/17/serious-fraud-office-charges-five-persons-with-bribery-and-money-laundering/. *Please note that by case, I mean all AFS cases that have been brought before the courts or that have involved a conviction in which an organization or individual has pleaded guilty. These figures do not include the proceedings of the Deferred Prosecution Agreement (DPA). So far, leading corruption data protection authorities and corporate law enforcement have not included any related money laundering offences. While Rolls-Royce`s CCA contained a charge of false accounting, the financial record-keeping provisions have been used sparingly in recent years for bribery of foreign companies, likely because of the simpler corporate liability route in section 7.50. In addition to the normal bribery/bribery offences that already existed under English law, the UKBA introduced a new business offence.
According to Article 7, a company can be held criminally liable for a “failure to prevent corruption by a `related party`”. The definition of “associated party” is very broad. This includes third parties such as intermediaries and agents. In an OECD study on the driving force behind international anti-bribery compliance, more than 80% of respondents said that avoiding prosecution or protecting their company`s reputation was an “important” or “very important” factor in their decision to adopt an anti-corruption program.4 If prosecution does not seem like a realistic prospect, The motivation to maintain high standards in such programs may diminish. especially for small organizations. Going forward, we expect the SFO to remain focused on securing cross-border DPAs with corrupt companies. DPAs provide an important revenue-generating function, and it should be noted that the settlement in the Airbus DPA58 was more than double the sum of all fines paid in 2018 for all criminal acts in England and Wales.59 The SFO has recently closed a number of high-profile investigations without further action, including British American Tobacco, the UK subsidiaries of KBR Inc. and GlaxoSmithKline. This could indicate a “clean-up of bridges” before renewed interest in prosecuting corruption cases (despite a slowdown last year due to Covid-19). If the SFO can begin to balance its success in concluding DPAs with obtaining individual convictions, then the enforcement regime in the UK will be more balanced and formidable. Possible legislative developments on corporate responsibility could also lead to an increase in the prosecution of other financial crimes, but much depends on the political will and time of Parliament for changes in this area. Effective governance of corruption investigations requires an assessment of the nuances of the UK`s legal and enforcement system, including key recent developments such as the Supreme Court`s clarification of the limits of the SFO`s investigative powers vis-à-vis foreign companies, the ongoing review of proposed changes to corporate responsibility laws, and the impending impact of Brexit.
Even on its tenth anniversary, the law is still in its infancy. The real test for the law and those charged with enforcing it is likely to happen in the next decade, as the precursors to the law no longer apply, current corruption investigations intensify, and the economic shock triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic creates an environment conducive to corruption. Prosecutions by domestic companies under the Bribery Act have been extremely rare, with the only prosecution (by the CPS) taking place in 2018, when Skansen Interiors Limited was found guilty of failing to prevent corruption (under section 7 of the Bribery Act). The CPS has certainly been a more prolific prosecutor than the SFO: from 2013 to 2020, the CPS obtained more than 60 corruption convictions, while from July 2011 to March 2020, the SFO obtained only four convictions under sections 1 and 2 of the Bribery Act (for domestic or transnational corruption).8 However, This reflects the number and complexity of cases. which fall within the competence of the various authorities. The SFO announced that as of March 2020, it had brought four cases to court under Articles 1 and 2.14. Of these, two involved guilty pleas and one resulted in acquittal. The AFS`s only successful prosecution of individuals under Articles 1 and 2 was in a single trial in 2014.
As 2022 approaches, British prosecutors will try to address this issue in order to maintain a position at the forefront of active corruption executioners. To this end, the SFO has shown an increasing willingness to use the broad extraterritorial scope of the Bribery Act to prosecute cases that span the globe – a trend that will continue. While the UK has now left the EU, the EU`s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has been adopted as the UK`s GDPR, with the vast majority of data protection rights and obligations retained. Companies often have to deal with tensions between data protection obligations and the need to collect, verify and possibly share information with authorities as part of a corruption investigation. So far, six of the nine data protection authorities concluded by the SFO concern corruption offences, including breaches of the law in all cases. Specifically, these six corruption-related DPAs concerned the entity that had accepted at least one charge under the landmark offence of “non-prevention” under section 7 of the Act. It should be noted, however, that UK prosecutors are not the only ones who tend to resolve corruption cases through voluntary agreements with offending parties.4 The Bribery Act contains an offence specifically targeting foreign bribery: the offence of bribery of a foreign public official (section 6).