Legal Limitations of Bribery for International Contract

Subject: Law
Pages: 2
Words: 333
Reading time:
2 min

Under US state laws enunciated by the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, it is illegal for American citizens to offer bribes, whether in cash or in-kind, in order to get favorable business dealings. Further, it is also seen that the international community has for long been considering the introduction of a specific criminal offense of bribery of foreign public officials, e.g., to ensure respect of competition rules in international business transactions. The protected legal interest is of dual nature: transparency and fairness of the decision-making process of foreign public administrations -this was traditionally considered an internal affair, but globalization has made this consideration redundant, and the protection of fair competition for businesses.

The criminalization of corrupt behavior occurring outside national territories finds its justification in the common interest of States to protect these interests. The European Union was the first European organization which succeeded in adopting an international treaty criminalizing, inter alia, the corruption of foreign public officials: the Convention on the fight against corruption involving officials of the European Communities or officials of the member states of the EU (adopted on May 26, 1997). After several years, the OECD has also concluded, in November 1997, a landmark agreement on criminalizing, in a coordinated manner, the bribery of foreign public officials, i.e., to bribe such an official in order to obtain or retain business or other improper advantages.

In this case, it is seen that the bribe required is not in cash but in kind, but it in no way undermines the extent of the criminality involved. It would be in good commercial practice and moral values that the countries do not participate in this kind of corrupt business practices and bring it to the notice of the European community.

It is also necessary that economic blockade or sanctions need to be introduced in this country in order to create mass awareness regarding the presence of corruption in high places.