Sam Eastwood and Dorian Drew: Time to speed up corruption reform
The Great Wall of China has been an imposing backdrop to the 2008 Olympic Games and a testament to human endeavour. Such a feat seems mammoth next to what one would think is the relatively straightforward task of reforming the UK's anti-corruption laws. The original Great Wall, long since disappeared, took approximately 20 years to build. Nearly twice that length of time has elapsed since the Redcliffe-Maud Committee was appointed in 1973 to review corruption law, and yet little progress has been made since then.Successive committees (including Salmon and Nolan), along with the Law Commission, have produced reports criticising the existing legal framework. In 1998, the Law Commission damned the current regime for being "obscure, complex, inconsistent and insufficiently comprehensive". The UK Government has consistently stated its public commitment to combating corruption and reforming the law. Draft Bills - some proposed by Government, others by way of Private Members' Bill - have come and gone, although legislation was enacted in 2001 extending UK law jurisdiction to foreign acts of UK companies and individuals.
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