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Matthew C. Stephenson

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Matthew C. Stephenson

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Matthew C. Stephenson

Advocates of stronger enforcement of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) have proposed a number of reforms—such as the creation of a private civil remedy, more aggressive targeting of individual defendants, and expanded use of corporate debarment—that would, according to proponents, deter FCPA violations more effectively. That may well be, but this chapter points out that such reforms might also lead to a substantive narrowing of the FCPA, because such reforms would lead to more litigation, much of it against more sympathetic defendants, and this in turn could lead to both judicial narrowing of ambiguous statutory terms and Congressional revisions to the statute. The possible unintended consequence should be considered when conducting a more comprehensive evaluation of the costs and benefits of proposed FCPA reforms.