International Anti-Corruption Law Research Guide
This research guide is about international anti-corruption
This research guide is about international anti-corruption
This guide covers electronic and print resources on corruption law. Corruption law touches on a wide variety of issues including money laundering, government transparency, organized crime, trade and investment regulations. Corruption law can frequently incorporate aspects of comparative, international and foreign law. For researchers new to international law, see our international law research guide for further assistance.
The law library has many materials on corruption law and the titles below are meant only as a starting point. To locate more resources, search the online catalog using keywords to narrow your search results. For example, < corruption transnational > or < money laundering >.
- Anti-Corruption Services: Good Practice in Europe INTL KJC9015 .A97 2003
Presented in this text is a conceptual framework that nations can use to create anti-corruption services. This work also profiles the anti-corruption services in 18 European countries.
- Criminal Enterprise: Individuals, Organisations and Criminal Responsibility available online (Georgetown Law Only)
Presented in this work is a legal, ethical and sociological analysis of who is held responsible and why. Presented in the global context are the roles of nations, organizations and individuals.
- Organized Crime Legislation in the European Union: Harmonization and Approximation of Criminal Law, National Legislations and the EU Framework Decision on the Fight Against Organized Crime INTL KJC7975 .C35 2010
This work presents an overview of national and EU legislation on organized crime. In addition, there are tables, graphs and maps that help illustrate the level of harmonization in criminal law among EU member states.
- Palermo in the Pacific: Organised Crime Offences in the Asia Pacific Region INTL KNC974 .S35 2010
Reviewed in this work are the laws that punish criminal organizations. This work focuses on four major organized crime offences: conspiracy, participation, enterprise and labeling /registration. The work compares how these offences are defined in the Convention against Transnational Crime, Convention against Transnational Organised Crime, US RICO Act and by jurisdictions throughout the world.
- Transnational Organized Crime: a Commentary on the UN Convention and its Protocols INTL K5240 .M38 2007
This work presents a legal commentary on every article in the UN Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime and its two protocols. In addition, there is information on the negotiations that helped create this convention.
View this list as a starting point for information on important treaties. Keep in mind that there are treaties which address the procedural aspects of the prosecution of corruption. For example, Mutual Legal Assistance Agreements are used in order to extradite or give notice of service. Those types of treaties are not listed here, however below are some of the major treaties used to address corruption.
- African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption
This convention was adopted in Algiers, Algeria, 14th of July 1999, and entered into force on 6th of December 2002. The African Union's web site has ratification status information.
- Civil Law Convention on Corruption
This convention was adopted in Strasbourg, France, 4th of November 1999, and entered into force 1st of November 2003. According to the Council of Europe's Treaty Office web site the convention is open to "non-member states which took part in drawing it up; other non-member states by invitation; and the European Community." The Council of Europe's Treaty Office web site has more detailed information on this convention and ratification status.
- Criminal Law Convention on Corruption
This convention was adopted in Strasbourg, France on 27th of January 1999, and entered into force 1st of July 2002. According to the Council of Europe's Treaty Office web site the conventions is open to "non-member states which took part in drawing it up; other non-member states by invitation; and the European Community". The Council of Europe's Treaty Office web site has more detailed information on this convention and ratification status. The Additional Protocol to the Criminal Law Convention on Corruption adds, to the above convention, the requirement under national law the criminalization of active and passive bribery in both the public and private sectors. The Protocol specifically mentions bribery of members of foreign and domestic parliamentary assemblies and of officials of international organizations. This protocol was adopted in Strasbourg, France on the 15th of May 2003, and entered into force on 1st of February 2005. The Council of Europe's Treaty Office web site has more detailed information on this protocol and ratification status.
- Inter-American Convention Against Corruption
This convention was adopted in Caracas, Venezuela, in March 1996. According to the Organization of American State's web site the convention enters into force, "in accordance with Article XXV of the treaty, the thirtieth day following the date of deposit of the second instrument of ratification" of the member state. The web site has further information on this convention and ratification status. The Mechanism for Follow-Up on the Implementation of the Inter-American Convention against Corruption (MESICIC) is an intergovernmental organization set up to support the enforcement of the convention.
- OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions
This convention was signed on the 17th of December 1997 and entered into force on the 15th of February 1999. It is open to all OECD countries and 6 non-member countries (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Bulgaria, Estonia and Slovenia). The OECD's web site has more detailed information on this convention and ratification status.
- United Nations Convention against Corruption
This convention entered into force on the 14th of December 2005 by resolution 58/4. The U.N. web site has an overview and history of this convention and ratification status.
- United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and the Protocols
This convention entered into force on the 29th of September 2003, by resolution 55/25. The U.N.'s web site has detailed information on this convention and ratification status. The Legislative Guide for the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and the Protocols thereto has links to interpretative notes, a glossary, conference papers, and a review of the implementation of the convention and its protocols.
- The United Nations Declaration Against Corruption and Bribery in International Commercial Transactions
This does not have the force of law but is a political commitment, and was adopted by U.N. in December 1996. The United Nations Asia and Far East Institute for the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders (UNAFEI) in its Annual Report For 2004 and Resource Material Series No. 66 in the chapter The United Nations Convention Against Corruption Origins And Negotiation Process has a concise review of how this declaration fits into the broader context of the fight against corruption.
Locating the law of a country will have many components. For a good introduction about general (and jurisdiction specific) resources, as well as an overview of how to approach foreign law research see our Foreign & Comparative Law Research Guide. Below is a sampling of resources as good places to start locating foreign law on this topic. Most are freely available on the Internet; some are available to Georgetown Law Only.
- Action Against Economic Crime has a focus on Corruption (Council of Europe)
The Council of Europe is an international organization, in Strasbourg, with 47 European member countries. The corruption section has resources on standards (conventions and other relevant legal text), monitoring compliance (through working groups such a GRECO) and projects (both completed and current ones).
- Anti-Corruption Portal of the Americas and Criminalization of Acts of Corruption (The Organization of American States (OAS))
The OAS is a regional organization with 35 member countries. Also listed by country are the laws that address corruption. To access the list of laws, click on the list of countries on the right of the web page . On the criminalization page, there are citations to foreign laws that enforce certain paragraphs in the convention anti-corruption law. To find these citations, in the center of the page click on the relevant bullet point for and then click on the country.
- Fight Against Corruption and Fight Against Fraud (Europe Union)
The European Union is made up of 27 European countries, which have delegated some of their power in order to make decisions on specific matters of joint interest at the European level. The corruption section lists relevant, legal text with summaries of key points, links to full texts, and related acts. In the Fraud section, there are summaries of legislation and policy. There are also links to resources where one can search for the full text of legislation and case law.
- Fighting Corruption (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development)
The OECD is an international organization, with 33 member countries from around the world. The section on corruption includes country reports on the implementation of the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention with a list of implementing legislation as well as regional anti-corruption programmes. The Working Group on Bribery monitors, in three phases, a country's enforcement of the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention.
- Foreign Law Guide database (Georgetown Law only)
This database includes a brief legal-historical overview at the beginning of each jurisdiction. The Major Publications section within each jurisdiction will provide the names of gazettes, reporters, and consolidated codes.
- WorldLII has listed in its subject Index, Corruption
While WorldLII does not have materials for all countries, this resource can sometimes have case law and legislation, as well as links to other relevant resources. This is a list of the countries with available information.
Below is a sampling of relevant EU laws and conventions that address corruption issues.
- EU Money Laundering: Preventing Use of the Financial System
The full text of this act is available, along with a summary of key points and links to related acts and directives.
- Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament and the European Economic and Social Committee - On a Comprehensive EU Policy Against Corruption
This is an excellent synopsis of the relevant law and policy actions taken by the EU. There is an overview of why the communication was written.
- Convention of the European Union on the fight against corruption involving officials of the European Communities or officials of Member States
In the overview of the act, there is information on subsequent legislation and related acts.
- Convention on the protection of the European Communities' financial interests
In the overview of the act, there is further information on subsequent legislation and related acts. For this convention there were two subsequent protocols, the first in 1996 and second from 1997. The second came into force on May 19 2009.
- Council Framework Decision 2003/568/JHA of 22 July 2003 on combating corruption in the private sector
This decision was designed to harmonize legal terms commonly used in corruption legislation. The harmonizing of these terms was part of EU efforts to better enforce anticorruption policies. For an overview of the decision and how it relates to other acts, see EUROPA's web site on this decision
The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977(FCP), governs whatU.S. corporations, business and individuals must comply with in their dealings with foreign companies. Researchers often have to compare what are the requirements under the FCP to what is required under international and foreign laws. For a concise overview and legislative history of the FCP, see the DOJ's web site.
- Complying with the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act
This available online (Georgetown Law Only). It is a very detailed practitioners approach to complying with the FCP.
- Doing Business under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act
This is available online (Georgetown Law Only). There is information for practitioners, along with a comparison of the FCP to both foreign and international law.
- Enforcement 2010: Multi-Agency Enforcement Efforts in the New Decade WMS STACKS KF1070.Z9 E64 2010
The Practicing Law Institute (PLI), designed this series for practitioners and it presents changes in financial regulations post financial crisis. One section addresses the FCP with a review of recent changes and on possible changes.
- The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and the New International Norms WMS STACKS KF9351 .D46 2010
The first half of this book address the act, the second part presents brief overviews of the major conventions and other international efforts to combat corruption.
- Lexis (Georgetown Law Only)
Legal > Area of Law - By Topic > Corporate > Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Materials.
This section aggregates the books, treatise and handbooks within Lexis on the FCP.
- Westlaw (Georgetown Law Only)
Click on Add a Tab (located on the far right)> Click on Add Westlaw Tabs> scroll down to Topical > Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. This section aggregates the materials in Westlaw, which focus on this topic. These resources include secondary sources (news, law journals and analytical materials) and primary sources (case law, administrative materials, statutes and regulations).
Below is a collection of resources related to subtopics within corruption. Most are freely available on the Internet; some are available to Georgetown Law Only. These sites provide a variety of current information, documents, commentary and links to other relevant sites. No list of links can ever be complete; rather these are good places to start your research.
- The Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures (MONEYVAL) (Council of Europe)
The Evaluation reports present information on the efforts to combat money laundering made by different countries.
- Financial Action Task Force (FATF)
FATF is an intergovernmental body with over 30 member countries. The resource and links page has information on financial issues, as well as on money laundering issues. Their FAQ on money laundering section, located on the right side of the page, has links to evaluations of efforts to combat money laundering by jurisdiction and by topic.
- International Money Laundering Information Network (IMOLIN)
IMOLIN is an Internet-based network created cooperatively by major anti-money laundering organizations. They have listed the laws, for many countries, that specifically address money laundering. The money laundering laws are sometimes translated, summarized or there is a link to the full text in the original language. Their research and analysis page links to reports and general overviews of efforts to combat corruption.
- U.N.O.D.C. (U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime)
There is a section on Money-laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism. This section has brief summaries of the current situation of money-laundering and helpful links to model legislation.
- Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) (Council of Europe)
Members of the Council of Europe present evaluations on how they are regulating their own government operations. These evaluations include national legislation and other efforts to combat corruption.
- How to Improve Governance: A New Framework for Analysis and Action
This is available in print and online (Georgetown Law Only). This book presents a global view of corruption in government and possible solutions. The book also discusses this issue specifically in Ghana, Peru, Mexico and Thailand.
- Managing Conflict of Interest in the Public Service: OECD Guidelines and Overview
This is available online (Georgetown Law Only) and is a review of the regulation of conflicts of interests in the public service sector. The book highlights Australia, France, Germany, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal and the United States.
- The Right to Know: Transparency for an Open World WMS STACKS JC598 .R547 2007
Critically presented in this book are the changes of transparency laws from Asia to Africa to Europe to Latin America. There is information on how they have improved their laws and where there is still a need for improvement.
- Transparency ( European Commission)
In particular, the European Transparency Initiative was launched by the commission in order to provide feedback and structure for the debate on lobbying activities in the EU.
- Standing Group on Organized Crime for the European Consortium on Political Research
The newsletter and blog present current information on this issue.
- Transnational Organized Crime: Summary of a Workshop available online (Georgetown Law Only)
Though more focused on U.S. organized crime issues, there is a brief discussion of international laws and efforts in dealing with organized crime.
- U.N.O.D.C. (U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime)
There is a section on Organized Crime Assessments that section presents reliable information on organized crime in Central Asia and West Africa, which can be difficult to locate.
The trade and investment regulations, both at the national and international level, are some of the legal tools used to combat corruption. Taxation and reporting requirements are an examples of these types of regulations. The list below is meant to address the breadth of this issue and be basic starting point for locating further resources.
- International Trade Daily (BNA) available online (Georgetown Law Only)
Use the "Recent Topics" and then click on "Trade Policy" to locate relevant articles.
- International Trade Law, 4th ed. INTL K3842 .C37 2010
Unique to the fourth edition of this book is the section on corruption. This new section discusses how corruption hampers business operations and how some of the major international conventions address these issues.
- Trade Policy Review Mechanism (TPRM)
The WTO Trade Policy Reviews can be viewed by either country or by date . These reviews include the current trade situation within a county and if there have been any changes in the law. Searching by date is a quick way to locate the most current Trade Policy Review available for a jurisdiction.
Journal articles are a good way to obtain background information, locate the text of a foreign law, a citation, or locate information about a subject. Westlaw and Lexis provide excellent coverage of U.S. law reviews, but you should consider expanding your journal research to foreign journals and indexes for more comprehensive and global coverage. For information on other journal databases, see our Using Articles for Legal and Non-Legal Research for a complete list.
If you already have a citation and would like to read the article, simply type the journal name as a title search in the library catalog. The results will tell you if we have print, electronic, or both. Be sure to check coverage dates or volume numbers to determine if your particular volume or issue is available. If the library does not have the journal article, you may request the article through interlibrary loan and we will ask another library to make a photocopy.
Below are listed a few of the most commonly used resources for locating articles on combating corruption in the foreign and international law context.
- Cambridge University Press Journals (Georgetown only)
This full-text database offers both legal and non-legal journals published by Cambridge University. We suggest using advanced searching.
- Kluwer Law International (Georgetown Law only).
A broad collection of international journals, especially useful for European Union research.
- Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals (IFLP) (Georgetown Law Only)
A multilingual index to articles and book reviews appearing in approximately 490 legal journals published worldwide. This is the best resource to search for foreign language legal journal articles. Please note this is not a full-text database.
- Oxford University Press (Georgetown only)
This full-text database has both legal and non-legal journals published by Oxford University. You can limit to a particular journal or to the subject law.
- HeinOnline.(Georgetown only)
This legal database contains the full text of legal documents in PDF format, in several collections. The Law Journal Library contains articles from most major law reviews and law journals. Approximately 650 law journals and reviews are included, beginning with the inception date of each publication. For this topic it can be particular helpful to review older law journals for a more wide-ranging view of this topic.
Below is a sampling of some of the journals that focus on corruption law. For back issues, search in the library catalog using the title of the journal. Print versions are often available in the Wolff library.
- Crime, Law and Social Change (formerly Contemporary Crises) available online (Georgetown only)
There is full text access to articles otherwise. This journal covers corruption by issue (e.g. fraud) or by jurisdiction throughout the world.
- Public procurement law review available on Westlaw (Georgetown Law Only)[ PPLR -database] and in print
This journal's sole focus is on government procurement ranging from commentary to select publication of case law from around the world and in the international context (e.g. UNCITRAL Model Law on Procurement).
- Transparency International's quarterly newsletter available online (Georgetown only)
This newsletter though not published rapidly, has news, interviews, reviews of reports and books which focus on anti-corruption issues throughout the world.
In addition, since this legal topic has many interdisciplinary influences, these databases are also important resources for locating further information.
- Academic Search Premier.(Georgetown only)
This is a good all-purpose interdisciplinary database, with some full-text access. For this topic, some of the resources such as conference papers, newsletters and magazines can be particularly useful.
- JSTOR. (Georgetown only) This database includes the full text of the articles from 340 scholarly paper journals, most beginning with the first volume. Coverage excludes articles from the most recent 3 to 5 years PDF format. Searching is available across all bibliographic fields and in the full text.
Newspapers are important for locating current information on corruption law. For an overview and links to newspapers online (and what is available in print) try our Finding Newspaper Articles guide. Below is an overview of how to locate more newspaper articles on corruption law.
- Access World News (Georgetown Only)
This database provides articles from over 700 electronic editions of newspapers from around the world. Coverage varies depending on the jurisdiction.
- Factiva (Georgetown Only)
This Dow Jones database provides full text business coverage from 8000 sources in 22 languages from 118 countries. This database can be difficult to search, but it does have good sources especially on specific instances of corruption. This database works best in IE.
- Lexis (Georgetown Law only)
There are numerous news sources available from the News & Business tab. Try under both regional and individual jurisdictions. Coverage and news sources vary greatly depending on the region and country. Some of the countries covered are Australia, China, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand and South Africa.
- PressDisplay (Georgetown Only)
The resources provides online access to today's newspapers from around the world in full-color, full-page format. The materials are only available for the past 60 days. This resource is the fastest (and sometimes the only way) to access current newspapers throughout the world.
- Westlaw (Georgetown only)
There are many useful databases for news research. The databases listed below have been very useful, but you should also use the Westlaw Directory > International/Worldwide Materials > select region and then country. There you will find a complete listing of news sources for a particular country.
This combination of databases includes full-text, English-language articles and sources with news and business information from newspapers, magazines, trade journals, newsletters, and news services. Be sure to specify a date range if needed.
Many of the sites listed below also contain current news and events sections.
- The European Institute for Crime Prevention and Control
This institute, affiliated with the U.N., promotes the international exchange of information on crime prevention and control among European countries. They have publications that address these issues and a modest amount of specific research on corruption.
- Global Organization of Parliamentarians Against Corruption (GOPAC)
This is an international network of Parliamentarians from over 70 countries in the world, organized by region to build integrity and promote effective governance. The web site provides links to regional chapters. It also provides full-text access to some materials presented at past GOPAC Global Conference. Newsletter is also available on the site.
- International Chamber of Commerce (ICC)
The ICC has an Anti-Corruption Commission. One the commission's main tasks is to revise and issue ICC rules of conduct and make recommendations on how to combat extortion and bribery. They also monitor developments in the implementation of the U.N. and OECD conventions against corruption.
- International Monetary Fund (IMF)
The IMF and Good Governance section address corruption. In this section there are links to codes of conduct for promoting good governance and transparency for both the IMF and governments.
- U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre
The ministers of international development in the Netherlands, Germany, Norway and the U.K. formalized their cooperative efforts to combat corruption and created the U4 Anti-Corruption resource center. The on-line resources include information on projects and initiatives as well as answers to questions posed by development agencies from around the world.
- United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
Their Anti-Corruption web page has an "In Focus" segment, which highlights how corruption affects larger goals and projects of the UNDP such as the Millennium Development Goals. On the same page is the "Key Publications and Resources" segment. This segment is a virtual library of UNDP reports, training documents and other resources.
- UN Global Compact
They have a section on anti-corruption,which provides Guidance Materials and Anti-Corruption - Business Practices. The "Guidance Materials" have general information on how to implement best practices and some examples of how countries are implementing the best practices. The "Anti-Corruption - Business Practice" has more detailed and recent reports by nations and industries on how they are implementing best practices to combat corruption.
- The World Bank
It has as one of its topics, under public sector governance, anticorruption. There is a "highlights" section that lists recent books, journal articles and other resources. See also the literature survey on anticorruption.
- Electronic Information System for International Law (EISIL)
This resource is hosted by the American Society of International Law (ASIL). They have a small section on Money Laundering & Financial Crimes and an extensive section on Organized Crime & Corruption.
- CIAO: Columbia International Affairs Online (Georgetown Law only)
This database collects materials from research institutes, NGOs, foundation projects and conferences. There are books, journals and policy briefs. When searching, use advance search to limit a broad search like "corruption" by region, date or type of material.
- CountryWatch.com (Georgetown Law Only)
When searching in this resource, click on "advanced search" to search in both Country Wire (news accounts) and Country Watch Reviews (ranking of level of transparency and level of control of corruption by country).
- Economist Intelligence Unit on the Internet (Georgetown Law only)
Georgetown subscribes to the Country Report, Country Commerce, Country Finance, and Company Profiles available in this database. In advance search you can search across all of these resources, but still be able to limit by country or date.
- OECD iLibrary (Georgetown Law only)
This is the only comprehensive database of OECD publications and include statistics, public policy research and economics data. To search for books, chapters in books, graphs and articles on corruption, click on the "Working Papers" tab at the top the page.
- International Money Laundering Information Network
IMOLIN is an Internet-based network created cooperatively by major anti-money laundering organizations. The home page has regional newsletters and information on recent publications on this topic.
- The IMF's Approach to Promoting Good Governance and Combating Corruption
This guide details how the IMF, through technical assistance and policy actions, is combating corruption. There is also the Code of Good Practices on Fiscal Transparency (2007) and the Code of Good Practices on Transparency in Monetary and Financial Policies: Declaration of Principles (1999).
- Transparency International
TI chapters, according to a statement on their web site, "bring together relevant players from government, civil society, business and the media to promote transparency in elections, in public administration, in procurement and in business." They have a Corruption Perceptions Index and a Global Corruption Report. You can also search by regions. Their Anti-Corruption Plain Language Guide has definitions of major terms and includes "examples in practice" which are real instances of these definitions from throughout the world.
- SSRN's Legal Scholarship Network (Georgetown Law Only)
This database includes papers that have been accepted, but not yet published in journals. This resource can be particularly useful for finding current or developing scholarly legal and interdisciplinary discussions, given the wide the breadth of topics within corruption law.
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