Fraud and white-collar crime: A bill with more bite
The Law Commission's draft Bill on bribery is expected to be adopted by the Government and to become law, with little amendment, in 2010. The political will behind the Bill is driven by a desire to address international criticism not only of the UK's enforcement record on corruption but also the fragmented nature of English corruption law. The proposed law has been broadly welcomed, but what are its implications?In summary, the draft Bill would sweep away the inconsistent and overlapping jumble of legislation and common law currently in force and replace it with two general offences: offering or giving a bribe; and requesting or accepting a bribe. A new specific offence of bribing a foreign public official is proposed. In addition, a new offence of negligently failing to prevent bribery is set to be introduced, making it an offence for a company to fail, through negligence, to prevent a person paying a bribe on its behalf.
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