Between Impunity and Imperialism

by Kevin E. Davis (Author)

When people pay bribes to foreign public officials, how should the law respond? This question has been debated ever since the enactment of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977, and some of the key arguments can be traced back to Cicero in the last years of the Roman Republic and Edmund Burke in late eighteenth-century England. In recent years, the U.S. and other members of the OECD have joined forces to make anti-bribery law one of the most prominent sources of liability for firms and individuals who operate across borders. The modern regime is premised on the idea that transnational bribery is a serious problem which invariably merits a vigorous legal response. The shape of that response can be summed up in the phrase "every little bit helps," which in practice means that: prohibitions on bribery should capture a broad range of conduct; enforcement should target as broad a range of actors as possible; sanctions should be as stiff as possible; and as many agencies as possible should be involved in the enforcement process. An important challenge to the OECD paradigm, labelled here the "anti-imperialist critique," accepts that transnational bribery is a serious problem but questions the conventional responses. This book uses a series of high-profile cases to illustrate key elements of transnational bribery law in action, and analyzes the law through the lenses of both the OECD paradigm and the anti-imperialist critique. It ultimately defends a distinctively inclusive and experimentalist approach to transnational bribery law.

Book Details

Publication Date
July 31, 2019
Page count