Research Handbooks in Financial Law series
Edited by Barry Rider
Chapter 31: The legal mechanisms to control bribery and corruption
Bribery and corruption have received a great deal of coverage since the introduction and implementation of the Bribery Act 2010 and the extension of the remit of the Serious Fraud Office. Bribery has been defined as ‘giving or receiving [of] something of value to influence a transaction’. It has also been argued that it can include ‘money … other pecuniary advantages … [and] non-pecuniary benefits’. It has been suggested that bribery can be divided into two categories – direct and indirect– the latter of which is normally conducted through an agent and arises where the respective parties agree to meet in an attempt to gain a competitive advantage. The agent is paid a commission from the additional revenue generated by the resultant work or trade. Denning, citing Latymer, stated that bribery was regarded as ‘a princely kind of thieving’, yet despite these simple definitions, it is still a very difficult term to define. This is clearly illustrated by the wide range of statutory definitions offered by the Public Bodies Corrupt Practices Act 1889, the Prevention of Corruption Act 1906 and the Prevention of Corruption Act 1916. This uncertainty was clarified by the Bribery Act 2010. The chapter begins by outlining criminalisation of bribery by virtue of the Bribery Act 2010. It then identifies the United Kingdom’s bribery policy, which is administered by the Ministry of Justice and enforced by the SFO in conjunction with the Financial Conduct Authority. Bribery poses a significant threat to the UK.
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