UK’s Law Commission on Reforming Bribery

The United Kingdom’s Law Commission has published its recommendations in a new report on reforming the bribery laws in the United Kingdom. The LC Report 313 on reforming bribery (.pdf) states:

  1. Bribery has been contrary to the law at least since Magna Carta declared, “We will sell to no man…either justice or right”. Most people have an intuitive sense of what “bribery” is. However, it has proved hard to define in law. The current law is both out-dated and in some instances unfit for purpose.
  2. We propose repeal of the common law offence of bribery, the whole of the 1889,1906 and 1916 Acts, and all or part of a number of other statutory provisions.
  3. These offences will be replaced by two general offences of bribery, and with one specific offence of bribing a foreign public official. In addition, there will be a new corporate offence of negligently failing to prevent bribery by an employee or agent.
  4. In the text below, the precise statutory terms and definitions have not alwaysbeen used. The draft Bill must be consulted for these. Not all of our recommendations and draft clauses are discussed below.