Law Management Blog

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BRIBERY ACT GUIDANCE PUBLISHED

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The much-maligned and controversial Bribery Act took a new twist this week, as guidelines were issued by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) in conjunction with the director of public prosecutions for the benefit of prosecutors.

The SFO has provided a document which provides clearer guidance on how the Act will affect UK legislation. But businesses across the land are still apprehensive about how the law will affect their current practices.

For instance, the law will define four “distinct criminal offences” under which individuals can be charged, which are “being bribed”, “bribing another, “bribing a foreign official” and, applicable only to organisations and companies, “failing to prevent bribery”.

But businesses have expressed concern about the vague nature of some regulations, such as “failing to prevent a bribe by an associated person”. According to the Guardian, this vicarious liability is subject only to a defence that the company had “adequate procedures” in place to prevent the commission of an offence.

And confusion and alarm amongst Britain’s businesses has now forced the Ministry of Justice to rewrite the Act and delay its introduction until July 1.

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Written by Andrew Hodges

April 6, 2011 at 8:09 am

Posted in Comment, LinkedIn

Tagged with , ,

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