We are delighted to present the fifth edition of the CMS Guide to Anti-Bribery and Corruption Laws.
This edition of the Guide covers more countries than ever before, assessing the laws in 42 countries. We include full coverage of the BRIC nations, as well as increased coverage in Asia (China, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia), the Middle East (the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Oman) and South America (Brazil, Mexico, Chile and Colombia).
Since the last edition was published in 2016, there have been significant changes to the global anti-corruption landscape. Many of the countries covered in the following pages have updated, strengthened and widened the scope of their anti-corruption laws. Only 10 countries who were covered in the last edition have made no changes at all. For example, the introduction of the Sapin II Law in France aims to bring French anticorruption legislation in line with international standards in the fight against corruption. The new French law includes the creation of a new anti-corruption agency (Agence française anticorruption), and obliges companies with at least 500 employees and a turnover exceeding EUR 100m to implement a programme to prevent and detect corruption. In a further example, Australia’s Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth) is expected to be amended by the Crimes Legislation Amendment (Combatting Corporate Crime) Bill 2017 (Cth), which will introduce a new strict corporate liability offence for bribery of foreign officials conducted by its associates for the profit or gain of the company, even if the conduct occurred outside of the jurisdiction. The Australian chapter is prepared on the basis that the Bill is enacted into law later this summer.
The majority of countries provide for private sector bribery offences, with only 11 having offences that only apply to bribing public sector officials. Almost all countries recognise the concept of corporate liability for bribery (with the exception of Bulgaria and Oman, where only individuals can be prosecuted), albeit that in five jurisdictions only civil or administrative penalties can be applied to corporates (Brazil, Colombia, Germany, Hungary and Mexico). Five countries (Australia, Chile, Italy, Switzerland and the UK) now provide for a specific corporate offence whereby a corporate will be criminally liable for failure to prevent representatives committing bribery on its behalf. This shows the global trend to hold corporates to account for their employees’ actions and a shift in attitudes towards corporate responsibility.
As with previous editions, in this Guide we provide answers to the following key questions for each of the 42 countries:
- what are the offences?
- who can be liable and when?
- what are the penalties?
- what are the defences?
We hope you find the Guide useful.
We wish to thank all those who have contributed to this Guide. We would also particularly like to thank contributors from:
- Khaitan & Co., the leading Indian law firm with offices in Mumbai, New Delhi, Kolkata and Bangalore, for their continued contribution to the Guide.
- Rajah & Tann Asia (a transnational law firm, with offices across Asia) for contributing chapters on Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.
- Corrs Chambers Westgarth, Australia’s leading law firm, for contributing the chapter on Australia.
- Feras Al Shawaf, CMS’ partner firm in Saudi Arabia, for contributing the chapter on Saudi Arabia – one of nine new countries added to this edition of the Guide.
Contact details of all our key contributors are at the back of the Guide. Please do not hesitate to contact them with any questions you may have.