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The Court of Appeal has agreed with the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) that bribery of foreign officials was illegal

2 March 2016

The Court of Appeal has agreed with the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) that bribery of foreign officials was illegal prior to 2002 under the Prevention of Corruption Act 1906.

This decision is a boost for the SFO’s anti-bribery efforts. Before this decision, corruption overseas could be prosecuted in the UK where it had taken place after 14 February 2002, as provisions within the Anti-terrorism Crime and Security Act covered it and the position was clear under the Bribery Act; which replaced the earlier law. But the SFO was still using the old 1906 Act to prosecute companies and individuals for pre-2002 conduct and the law had never been formally clarified before this case.


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