The Bribery Act three years on

It’s three years this month since The Bribery Act – legislation aimed at tackling corporate corruption – came into force.

The flagship policy overhauled laws that were more than 100 years and created offences that were punishable by prison sentences of up to 10 years.

At the time, the Government said that the act would make the UK a global leader in stamping out bribery

Although the legislation attracted a great deal of attention, some are concerned that in the 36 months since, not a single corporate has been prosecuted under the new laws.

Earlier this year, David Green, head of the UK Serious Fraud Office, suggested the law should be amended to make it easier for the authorities to bring big business to book.

Although he has also countered claims that it was “business as usual”, arguing that by their very nature, investigations into corporate corruption are long and time-consuming.

It is also the case that the law can only be applied to offences that have been committed since the 2011 legislation. Any that date from before the act became law have to be dealt with under previous legislation.

This means that it may still be too early to say if the tougher laws are having the desired effect.

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