MJIEL Vol 3 Issue 3 2006 - Article 1


It is now a year since the UN Convention on Corruption, 2003 came into force. The Convention has received well over sixty ratifications or accessions. Most of these are from countries in the developing world. This article consisting of three parts addresses the following. Are there any special features in the UN Convention that make it unique in advancing the fight against corruption that also contribute to its popularity? Will this convention make a difference in achieving a less corrupt world? Part I uses a table to provide both a bird’s eye view of the other anti-corruption conventions and a reference point for comparison when examining the UN Convention. Part II addresses the issue of the popularity of the UN Convention by exploring critically its scope and innovative provisions against the historical setting of corruption specific regional and international conventions in Part I. Part II is divided into the following sections: offences, investigation and other procedural aspects, asset recovery, sanctions and implementation and concludes with a section entitled “Popularity Assessed” which deals with the main reasons for its wide adoption. Part III places the UN Convention in the broader context of the limits of criminal law and engages critically with the use of preventive measures as envisaged by the UN Convention.

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