Proposed UK Bribery Bill: It’s Implications and Contrasts to the FCPA

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In March 2009, the United Kingdom introduced into Parliament a Bribery Bill drafted to consolidate and bring into the 21st Century the various UK anti-corruption and bribery laws. As stated by Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth II, in her speech of November 18, 2009, the purpose of the Bribery Bill is to “Provide a modern and comprehensive scheme of bribery offences to equip prosecutors and courts to deal effectively with bribery at home and abroad.” As of February 9, 2010, the Bribery Bill had its third and final reading in the House of Lords, where no changes were proposed, and the bill has now been presented to the House of Commons for the first reading.

With wide cross-party support it is anticipated that the Bribery Bill will pass the House of Commons and become law by May, 2010. The Bribery Bill amends and repeals existing anti-bribery offences under the Public Bodies Corrupt Practices Act 1889, the Prevention of Corruption Act 1906 and the Prevention of Corruption Act 1916 and abolishes the UK common law offenses of bribery and embracery (bribery of jurors). This proposed legislation represents a long awaited simplification of the law on corruption and makes the UK compliant with its international obligations under the OECD. It will have a major impact on the way businesses connected to the UK manage their international business.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Thomas Fox, Compliance Evangelist | Attorney Advertising

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