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Lords Bribery Act Committee calls for evidence for post-legislative scrutiny inquiry

The House of Lords Select Committee on the Bribery Act 2010 has today called for evidence for its post-legislative scrutiny inquiry into the Bribery Act 2010.

It is seven years since the entry into force of the Bribery Act 2010. The Act established the two basic crimes of giving and receiving bribes, and created the crimes of bribery of foreign public officials, and of the failure of Commercial organisations to prevent bribery. Before the 2010 Act the law of bribery had not been substantially changed for nearly a century.

The Act applies only to conduct after its entry into force on 1 July 2011. Although there are still prosecutions under the earlier legislation for conduct prior to July 2011, the majority of corrupt conduct is now prosecuted under the Bribery Act. A number of cases have already reached the Court of Appeal. Now is an opportune moment for post-legislative scrutiny.

Among the issues the inquiry will examine are:

  • the effectiveness of the Act;
  • whether there has been stricter prosecution of corrupt conduct, a higher conviction rate, and a reduction in such conduct;
  • the impact of the Act on SMEs;
  • Deferred Prosecution Agreements in relation to bribery.

The call for evidence asks witnesses to consider questions including:

  • Is the Bribery Act 2010 deterring bribery in the UK and abroad?
  • Is the Bribery Act 2010 being adequately enforced?
  • Is the statutory guidance on the Bribery Act 2010 sufficient, clear and well understood?
  • What impact has the Bribery Act 2010 had on SMEs in particular?
  • How does the Bribery Act 2010 compare with anti-corruption legislation in other countries?
  • What impact has the Bribery Act 2010 had on UK businesses and individuals operating abroad?
  • Are Deferred Prosecution Agreements being used appropriately and consistently?

Chair of the Committee Lord Saville of Newdigate said:

“Concerns over whether the Bribery Act 2010 is effective need to be examined now. The Committee seeks to assess the effectiveness of the legislation and the impact it is having, as nearly all corrupt conduct is now prosecuted under it. The Committee will welcome submissions from people, organisations or businesses with experience of the Bribery Act 2010, and urges any persons and bodies that would like to be involved to send us their views.”

The deadline for submissions is Tuesday 31 July 2018.

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