With so many of the preconditions of liberal democracy in the United States under attack from the Trump Administration and its enablers, I was moved to consider what my ongoing research into New Deal lawyers might say about one institutional defender of the rule of law, the American legal profession. Founded in , Princeton University Press is an independent publisher with close connections, both formal and informal, to Princeton University. Legal Research on International Law Issues Using the Internet Lyonette Louis-Jacques Foreign and International Law Librarian and Lecturer in Law. 1. Foreword by David Cameron, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Corruption is the cancer at the heart of so many of our problems in the world today. This database includes hard-to-find local and regional business publications, including McClatchey Tribune titles, with news about local companies, analysis, information on local markets and more.
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Where we have identified any third party copyright information you will need to obtain permission from the copyright holders concerned. This publication is available at https: Foreword by David Cameron, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Corruption is the cancer at the heart of so many of our problems in the world today.
It destroys jobs and holds back growth, costing the world economy billions of pounds every year. It traps the poorest in the most desperate poverty as corrupt governments around the world syphon off funds and prevent hard-working people from getting the revenues and benefits of growth that are rightfully theirs. It steals vital resources from our schools and hospitals as corrupt individuals and companies evade the taxes they owe.
It can even undermine our security, as Sarah Chayes argues in her essay, if the perceived corruption of local governments makes people more susceptible to the poisonous ideology of extremists. The longer I have been Prime Minister, and the more I have seen in this job, the more I believe that we cannot hope to solve the big global challenges of our time without making a major dent in the whole cycle of corruption.
If we continue to hide from this problem, how will developing countries blessed with natural resources ever break out of the poverty trap? How will we stop people from risking their lives to cross the Mediterranean unless we enable them to build a better life back at home? In the end, we have to deal with corruption if we are to have any hope of a truly prosperous and secure future. Furthermore, people actually want us to deal with this problem, every bit as much as they want us to tackle issues like poverty and migration.
They want the law to be upheld and they want the corrupt to be punished, with justice and recompense for those who have suffered. Yet while corruption is such a huge problem, the national and global efforts to deal with it are often weak. No country has a perfect record on these issues — and so there is a hesitation in raising them. For too long there has been something of an international taboo over stirring up concerns.
For too long it has just been too easy for those in authority to ignore or pretend not to know what is going on. As David Walsh puts it in his essay: I profoundly believe that this has to change — and it has to change in every country. Make no mistake, corruption affects us all, Britain included. That is why I have made tackling corruption such a political priority. From the Bribery Act to becoming the first major country in the world to establish a public central registry of who really owns and controls companies, I am determined that we should do everything we can to demonstrate leadership on these issues and put our own house in order.
Through our chairmanship of the G8 and the Summit at Lough Erne, I put tax, trade and transparency on the global agenda and sought agreement on a global standard for the automatic exchange of information over who pays taxes where. While many said it would never happen, today jurisdictions have committed to implementing the international standard for exchange of tax information on request and more than 95 jurisdictions have committed to implementing the new global common reporting standard on tax transparency by Through our chairmanship of the United Nations High Level Panel, Britain secured the inclusion of tackling corruption at the heart of the new Sustainable Development Goals to eradicate absolute poverty from our world.
We are going further still. I am determined that the UK must not become a safe haven for corrupt money from around the world. We know that some high-value properties — particularly in London — are being bought by people overseas through anonymous shell companies, some of them with plundered or laundered cash.
So we are consulting on ways to make property ownership by foreign companies much more transparent — and considering whether to insist that any non-UK company wishing to bid on a contract with the UK government should publically state who really owns it. Yet all of these measures address only parts of the problem.
As the Panama Papers show, corruption is a truly global challenge. Criminal networks operate across borders. And wealth that is plundered from the poorest countries can end up hidden away in the richest countries. So nations need to tackle this issue in partnership, developing a truly comprehensive, sustained and coherent international agenda to defeat the causes of corruption. The essays in this book are not about trying to claim the moral high ground, nor about telling others what to do.
Neither do they claim to be a comprehensive guide to tackling corruption. But they are an attempt to bring together some of the most pioneering thinkers on this issue to begin a frank and informed global debate over how to tackle what I believe is one of the most pernicious enemies of progress in our time.
While the essays cover a wide range of perspectives and experiences, there are a number of consistent themes. For a start, we can be clear about the scale and extent of the problem. Christine Lagarde sets out the indirect economic costs of corruption, including the way corruption can act like a tax on investment and stifle the creation of new business. She also highlights its impact on the poorest and its damaging effect on the moral fabric of our society. Many of the essays bring home the sheer extent of corruption, reaching every country and affecting so many areas of life — from the desperate stories of the vulnerable paying bribes to get treatment for a sick child, to the world of sport which was for so long indulged with a special status that left some of its participants behaving as if they were exempt from the rules that everyone else was expected to follow.
Some of the essays are very clear about the definitions of corruption. Francis Fukuyama, in particular, analyses the origins of corruption, providing a strong historical and intellectual underpinning to the challenges we face.
Running through the essays is the sense that not only do you need the right rules and enforcement but you need to change the underlying culture too. There is a clear message here.
We cannot have one or the other; we need both.
He argues that you have to promote a culture which makes it close to impossible for the corrupt to prosper or escape detection. There is also a striking frankness and directness in the politicians who are writing about the history of corruption in their own countries.
In his essay on tackling corruption in Estonia, Mart Laar says that corruption was so ingrained that it had become a way of life. But that frankness about the problem will only deliver real change if there is true political leadership.
Without that leadership, many of the rules, institutions and mechanisms to address corruption will never actually bite. He cites one example of a provision to allow courts to treat unexplained wealth as evidence of corruption.
There is a similar provision in Singapore, the use of which is explored in the essay by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. Above all, when I read through the essays I feel both depressed and uplifted. Depressed because the scale of this problem is truly frightening and the human costs are so desperate.
But I am also uplifted because there is a consistent theme that we can crack this and there are so many encouraging stories of measures that have already had an impact. In Guatemala, a public campaign over a customs fraud scandal forced the resignation of the president and vice- president. In Brazil, 40 civil society organisations mobilised two million Brazilians to use online actions and events to successfully campaign for a new law that prevents candidates who have been convicted of corruption from standing for public office for at least eight years.
In Venezuela, a new smart phone app is allowing ordinary citizens to report on instances of bribery and any irregularities during elections, with more than complaints registered for follow-up in the most recent parliamentary elections.
These meant that the government delivered a streamlined customs approval process in exchange for a commitment from business not to offer any bribes to officials. Jim Yong Kim describes how publishing school funding allocations in local newspapers in Uganda transformed the proportion of funds that made it through to the schools, with one study concluding that the amount of funds diverted away by local officials correlated to the distance of a school from a town where there was a newspaper outlet.
All of these examples and more mean that the biggest message of this book is one of optimism. This battle can be won.
Against Corruption: a collection of essays
Furthermore, there are clear lessons coming through that can help us to win it by shaping an international agenda to defeat and deter corruption.
First, corruption should be exposed so there is nowhere to hide. We need to end the use of secret shell companies, so that the corrupt no longer have an easy and anonymous way to hide their loot and move it across borders.
We need to drive out the rogue lawyers, estate agents and accountants who facilitate or tolerate corruption in commerce and finance. At the heart of all of this is international co-operation on transparency.
In the UK we have adopted legislation to give the public unrestricted access to beneficial ownership information on UK companies through a public central registry so that people can see who really owns and controls companies.
But as Paul Radu argues, tracking international flows of finance requires international co-operation. Well-structured, transparent and accessible databases could allow automated searches of ever-larger, global datasets that could feed real-time alerts to journalists in every country. His vision offers a network of investigative journalists that could help make transparency the natural enemy of international organised crime gangs and corrupt officials all over the world.
Given the sheer quantity of data to get through, networks of civil society, activists and journalists — working with law enforcement — will be critical to holding people to account. Second, we need to deal properly and comprehensively with the corruption we expose. That means bringing the perpetrators to justice, actively enforcing anti-corruption laws and working together across international borders to hunt down the corrupt, prosecute them and send them to jail.
In Singapore, instead of prosecutors having to prove the guilt of the corrupt, they reverse the burden of proof so the accused have to show that they acquired their wealth legally.
The Prevention of Corruption Act also provides for extra-territorial jurisdiction, so that the actions of Singaporeans overseas are treated in the same way as actions committed in Singapore, regardless of whether the corrupt acts had consequences in Singapore itself. It will be a while yet before everyone is as bold and as far- reaching as Singapore. But what I believe we can all agree is that we should send a clear message to the corrupt that there will be no impunity and that we will restrict their ability to travel and do business as usual in our countries.
Dealing with the corruption we expose also means taking responsibility to support those who have suffered from corruption. I believe that should include doing everything we can to track down looted money and create a trusted system to return it to its rightful owners. The looting of public wealth has been on such a scale in some countries, that returning it safely would make an enormous difference to their development prospects. It would also begin to address the sense of injustice that many in this book have so powerfully described.
Third, we need more than just clear rules that are properly enforced.
As so many of the contributors have argued, we also need to make it much harder for corruption to thrive by driving out the underlying cultures that have allowed this cancer to fester for so long. From tax collection agencies, treasuries and civil services to professions such as accountancy and law, twinning can begin to build a newly shared culture of probity and honesty.
Changing the culture of corruption also means embracing the power of new technologies to deliver greater accountability for public money and public services. In India, for example, welfare smartcards are helping to prevent corrupt officials taking a cut of payments to the poor. Technologies like this can provide the information to enable government agencies, businesses, campaigning NGOs and individual citizens to come together in a comprehensive movement against corruption.
But all of this will only really work if political leaders have the courage to stand together, to speak up where previously there was silence, and to demand the strengthening and co- ordinating of international institutions that are needed to put fighting corruption at the top of the international agenda where it belongs. We cannot and must not fail this test of political leadership.
As David Walsh writes: It would be a crime not to seize it. Together we are against corruption. And together we can defeat it. Corruption has in many ways become the defining issue of the 21st century, just as the 20th century was characterised by large ideological struggles between democracy, fascism and communism.
What really distinguishes political systems from one another is the degree to which the elites ruling them seek to use their power in the service of a broad public interest or simply to enrich themselves, their friends and their families.