Economic Analysis and International Law
For the most part, the anti-bribery conventions are not self-executing, which means that they require enabling acts before they can function inside a country and bind domestic courts. As mentioned above, the anti-corruption conventions set forth minimum standards that national implementing pieces of legislation must meet. State Parties must firstly identify where and how their own pieces of legislation fall below the standards of the conventions or where a domestic act is needed in order to implement specific treaties' provisions. Then, they must comply with the international obligation set forth by the convention at hand, by adopting appropriate pieces of legislation. For instance, deficiencies might occur in case domestic law does not criminalize certain types of conduct (such as the bribery of foreign public officials). They may also arise when an element of an offense is narrower than the corresponding element in the international conventions (e.g. in cases where the definition of a bribe does not include non-pecuniary advantages). More generally, in most constitutional systems a specific domestic law is required in order to introduce a new offense. As with most international criminal conventions, each of the antibribery treaties seeks to work out its own way to balance prima facie contrasting aims: on the one hand, to ease the adoption of a legally binding text and, thereafter, its implementation; on the other hand, to ease the harmonization of Contracting States' penal legislation.
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