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Chapter 16: On Best and Not So Good Practices for Addressing High-level Corruption Worldwide: An Empirical Assessment
16 On best and not so good practices for addressing high-level corruption worldwide: an empirical assessment Edgardo Buscaglia 1 1. Introduction The United Nations Convention against Corruption (Merida Convention)2 has been ratified by 102 countries, but its impact on the ground is unclear. This chapter asks whether ratification is linked to the actual implementation of key anti-corruption measures and a consequent significant decrease in perceived and objective measures of judicial system irregularities linked to high-level corruption cases. We include police, prosecutors, and the courts in our study because weaknesses in any of these sectors will prevent the overall judicial system from functioning effectively. The data we use are from a field assessment of judicial systems, financial intelligence infrastructures, auditing capacities, civil service mechanisms, and civil society’s ability to engage with the public sector. The globalization of socio-economic life leads to increasingly complicated interactions among individuals and organizations at national and international levels. Furthermore, the mix of democratization, deregulation, the liberalization of international trade, and the privatization of state enterprises has intensified the need for legal frameworks adapted to the new nature and scale of socio-economic interactions (Buscaglia, 1997: 34). For example, the ever-increasing porosity of national frontiers to international human and financial flows gives rise to new types and increased levels of criminal behavior (Buscaglia, 1994: 30–31; Milhaupt and West, 2000). Within criminal enterprises, globalization has a dark side that combines increasing cross-border openness with advanced technologies that allow trafficking of a large range of goods, services, and...
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