Author: Azizur Rahman 29 July 2021
As it is ten years since the Bribery Act came into effect, Aziz Rahman wrote a short piece about its impact.
He emphasises that while other countries look to the Act when they are thinking about introducing their own anti-corruption legislation, its critics have pointed to it being little used in its first 10 years. Most convictions have been of individuals for offering or taking bribes. Prosecutions under the Section 7 strict liability offence of failing to prevent bribery have been rare.
But in his piece, Aziz argues that there are a number of reasons for there not having been many prosecutions under the Act. The length and complexity of bribery investigations means that prosecutions are likely to be few and far between. He also suggests that the lack of prosecutions under the Act may be due, in part at least, to it persuading companies to make sure they have strong anti-bribery procedures in place.
Aziz also says that the Serious Fraud Office’s use of deferred prosecution agreements (DPAs) is one factor in why Bribery Act prosecutions are not common. He concludes that it would be wrong to pick fault with the Bribery Act or say it has been ineffective simply because of the lack of prosecutions.
His article was published by Lawyer Monthly.
Aziz Rahman is Senior Partner at Rahman Ravelli and its founder. His ability to coordinate national, international and multi-agency defences has led to success in some of the most significant corporate crime cases of this century and top rankings in international legal guides. He is recognised worldwide as one of the most capable legal experts regarding top-level, high-value commercial and financial disputes.