30.07.2018 saw the introduction of the Criminal Justice (Corruption Offences) Act 2018. At first glance it looks like a potentially terrifying piece of legislation, and frankly continues to do so even after second and third glances.
The new Act has implemented six specific recommendations of the Mahon Tribunal. Of particular interest is that the Act covers corporate bodies, and individuals but, also covers Irish Officials.
Key offences of the Act.
- New offences of Active and Passive Trading
- New offence of an Irish Official doing a Corrupt Act
- New offence of giving a Gift or Advantage
- New offence for Creating or Using False Documents
- New offence of Intimidation
Presumptions of the Act.
- Presumption of corrupt gifts extended to “connected persons”
- Presumption of corrupt donation expanded
New provisions include:
- Forfeiture of public office, and prohibition from seeking public office for Irish officials
- New strict liability offence for bodies corporate
- Provisions for seizure and forfeiture of bribes
This Act broadens definitions of corruption, covers a wider range of individuals, and includes Irish Officials. It also provides for potential prison sentences up to 10 years, forfeiture of bribe, forfeiture of office (Public servants and elected Officials) up to 10 years and unlimited corporate fines.
This is a radical overhaul of anti-corruption in Ireland which companies, at the very least, should take time out to consider if their policies are sufficiently robust.
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