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Anti-corruption Law Reform

October 1, 2012

New draft legislation has been published which if passed, will consolidate and reform the existing law on corruption in the State.

The draft legislation has numerous novel provisions including:

  • A presumption of corruption where donations are given to persons or political parties in certain circumstances, unless the contrary can be proved
  • A presumption of corrupt enrichment of an Irish public official where that person has a standard of living or is in control of assets, disproportionate to their official income and publicly declared interests, unless the contrary can be proved
  • A court power to order the removal of a public official who breaches the public’s trust, from office and bar them from seeking office in the future (for a maximum of 10 years)

Corporate Liability

The draft legislation also provides for the specific criminal liability of a company for the corrupt acts of their directors, managers, secretary, officer, employees, subsidiary or agent where such corruption is done:

  • With the intention of obtaining or retaining business; or
  • To obtain, or retain an advantage in the conduct of business of the company

However, if a company can prove that it took all reasonable steps and exercised all due diligence to avoid the commission of an offence under the draft legislation, it shall not be criminally responsible for the actions of others.

Contributed by Ian Murray.

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