Anti-Bribery Laws in Common Law Jurisdictions
Author: Stuart H. Deming
Publisher: Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2014. 496p.
Reviewer: Jonathan Mukwiri | May 2015
This book, by Stuart H. Deming, should appeal to a wide range of readers, including business advisers, legal practitioners and academics who are interested in having a general grasp of the anti-bribery laws in the major common law jurisdictions.
The book begins with an overview of international norms that underpin the history and current regime of anti-bribery laws in major common law jurisdictions. Deming argues that because so many of the underlying principles and practices associated with anti-bribery legislation in most countries are based on the experience of the United States with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”), the manner and means by which the FCPA has been interpreted and enforced will continue to play a prominent role in the development of international norms. Deming then lays out the legal framework underpinning anti-bribery laws in the major common law jurisdictions as provided in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions (“OECD Convention”).
In laying out that legal framework, the author first provides the scope of the OECD Convention. The Convention focuses on active bribery, the so-called “supply” side of bribery. It applies only to the bribery of foreign public officials. It requires, expressed here in summary, the Convention Members to take measures to establish under their laws that it is a criminal offence for any person to bribe a foreign public official in the conduct of international business. Deming then focuses on the following key aspects of the OECD Convention: its anti-bribery provisions, jurisdiction, elements of the offence, defences, sanctions, money laundering, taxing deductibility, and accounting and record keeping. He then sets out to offer a comprehensive account of anti-bribery laws in major common law jurisdictions mapped on the key aspects of the OECD Convention.
The book provides a comprehensive account of the foreign bribery laws in the following common law jurisdictions: Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Following a consistent pattern mapped on the key aspects of the Convention, Deming highlights how each jurisdiction establishes liability for foreign bribery against any person (both natural and legal persons). In providing a detailed account of the ant-bribery laws of each jurisdiction, he utilizes the jurisdictional official guidance; this is especially borne out when addressing the laws of the United States (FCPA) and United Kingdom (the Bribery Act). At the back of the book is provided, as appendixes, the anti-bribery legislation of each jurisdiction addressed, and where applicable, official guidance notes, which provide a useful reference-point for the reader.
Anti-Bribery Laws in Common Law Jurisdictions is one of the few books on the market that provides a comprehensive account of the foreign bribery laws in the context of major common law jurisdictions. This book is a highly recommended source for those requiring a comparative account of anti-bribery laws.
Dr. Jonathan Mukwiri, Lecturer in Commercial Law, Durham University