Call McGarr Solicitors on: 01 6351580

Home » Blog » Criminal Law

Brown Envelopes (2)

There are plenty of good ideas lying around to control corruption.

This blog has referred (July 2007) to one of them.

That post referred to the fact that the UK (and Ireland, consequently) formerly had that very remedy and allowed it to fall into disuse.

It is now proposed to revive it in the UK.

Another good idea that would have stopped Charles J. Haughey, deceased leader of Fianna Fail, from getting inexplicably rich, is to be found in the laws of many former UK dominions.

Hong Kong’s version is found in the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance. It provides;

“10. (1) Any person who, being or having been a prescribed
officer –

(a) maintains a standard of living above that which is
commensurate with his present or past official
emoluments; or

(b) is in control of pecuniary resources or property
disproportionate to his present or past official

shall, unless he gives a satisfactory explanation to the court as to
how he was able to maintain such a standard of living or how such
pecuniary resources or property came under his control, be guilty of
an offence.”

(The definition of “prescribed officer” is critical; we are not after the dog-catcher).

A False Claim Act is, however, the superior remedy; it applies to private corruption and to public corruption; it promotes the disclosure of wrongdoing by witnesses; it acts as a disincentive to crime (by making it dangerous to undertake).