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13 July 2020 In a much-needed win for the UK’s Serious Fraud Office, two out of three of those it was prosecuting for corruption in the Unaoil case were found guilty. The case has exposed some ugly competition between global enforcement agencies, and some alarming behaviour by the new Director of the Serious Fraud Office in her pursuit of American style techniques in corruption and fraud cases. But the questions left at the end of the trial are why the victims of corruption in Iraq did not...
New report: WEAK LINK OR FIRST LINE OF DEFENCE? THE ROLE OF UK EXPORT FINANCE IN FIGHTING CORRUPTION IN A POST-CORONAVIRUS AND POST-BREXIT TRADE DRIVE
Spotlight on Corruption is today releasing a major new report on the role of UK Export Finance (UKEF) in fighting corruption in the UK’s post-Brexit and post-coronavirus trade drive. UKEF is a government agency that provides taxpayer support to underwrite the majority of financial risk that UK companies face when exporting abroad. UKEF is being called upon to play an enhanced role in the government’s trade drive. In particular, UKEF’s ability to make direct loans to foreign governments and...
1 July 2020 On 17 June 2020, Lady Justice Carr unequivocally refused the National Crime Agency’s (“NCA”) application for permission to appeal. The NCA had sought to challenge Justice Lang’s decision to discharge the unexplained wealth orders (“UWO”) against the Aliyev family (see our earlier post). The NCA had an uphill struggle given that Lang J had found that it was an unreliable assumption to say that the funds had originated from Rakhat Aliyev. Carr LJ agreed, finding that the lower...
Transparency in government-backed COVID-19 loans Along with the Fraud Advisory Panel and Transparency International UK, we wrote to the government on 16 June to ask them to publish the names of all those who have received bailout loans. The letter can be seen here. Here we explain why such transparency is needed. On 23 March the UK government announced it would provide £330 billion worth of loans and guarantees to support businesses that are struggling as a consequence of the COVID-19...
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As jury trials resume, how safe will the public feel to travel to observe them and if they don’t is open justice being upheld?
A timeline of key developments, announcements, and evaluations relating to open justice in the UK courts during Covid-19.
Spotlight blog by Daniel Beizsley on whether conflicts of interest are being managed properly during the COVID-19 crisis and the curious case of NHSX.
The ruling to discharge the UK’s second Unexplained Wealth Order against Kazakh political figures in early April raises some key issues for the regime discussed in this blog.
Today, the UK Anti-Corruption Coalition is releasing a statement urging the UK to uphold vital anti-corruption measures in its response to the COVID-19 crisis.
In the government’s 2020 budget on the 12th of March, the Chancellor announced that the government would consult in the spring about introducing an ‘economic crime levy’ on those firms…
Civil society groups’ letter to the Director of the SFO on implications of the Airbus Deferred Prosecution Agreement
In the letter, we ask the SFO to look at: whether the regime provides sufficient incentives for companies to self-report whether senior executives are being held to account effectively whether the penalties imposed reflect the full wrongdoing committed whether compensation principles are being effectively applied in DPAs whether there is enough transparency in the DPA regime and whether Article 6 of the OECD Convention is being sufficiently respected particularl with regard to the national...
UK courts started hearing the first ever criminal trial in the UK of employees of an intermediary company that is charged with paying bribes on behalf of large Western oil companies..
This blog in the Law Gazette by Susan Hawley, Professor Nicholas Lord and Colin King raises some questions about how the current UK Deferred Prosecution Agreement regime is working.
In November 2019, the UK’s longest running corruption trial, Alstom, came to an end. This Spotlight on Corruption briefing looks at the
lessons from the case, and asks whether the case has created perverse incentives to companies to fight it out in the courts rather than come clean to law enforcement.
Guralp’s Deferred Prosecution Agreement (DPA) and individual acquittals – questions for the SFO on its prosecution strategy
On December 20th, the SFO announced a DPA with Guralp Systems Ltd – the day that three individuals were acquitted by a court for the same wrongdoing outlined in the DPA. This blog looks at the implications and lessons.
Blog by Susan Hawley for Centre for Study of Corruption at Sussex University.
We made the following statement to the OECD’s Working Group on Bribery
external stakeholders event, urging action by the Group on the following items…
Presentation by Sue Hawley to the OECD about the role of Export Credit Agencies in fighting corruption.
The National Crime Agency successfully saw off an appeal against new anti-money laundering powers created in 2017, the Account Freezing Order, used in the Moldovan ‘theft of the century’ case.
UK anti-corruption groups came together in October to launch a manifesto for fighting corruption
Report by Dr Judith Townend commissioned Spotlight on Corruption and the Open Government Network to develop a series of recommendations for the next UK government Open Government Partnership National Action Plan on improving open justice data.
Spotlight on Corruption and Transparency International wrote to the UK’s Attorney General to express serious concerns.