Does your organisation do business in the UK or hope to do
business with the UK in the future?
The UK Bribery Act creates a strict liability offence for
corporates and partnerships of failing to prevent bribery occurring
within the organisation. The only defence is if the corporate had
put in place "adequate procedures" designed to stop
incidences of corruption.
The UK Bribery Act came into force on 8 April 2010. Norton
Rose's Business Ethics and Anti-Corruption Group has prepared a
publication entitled "UK Bribery Act: Ten things you should
know". It can be accessed
The UK Bribery Act has extra territorial
effect. The offence of failing to prevent bribery applies
to conduct outside the UK provided that an organisation carries on
a business, or part of a business, within the UK. This means that
an Australian company can commit the offence of failing to
implement "adequate procedures" to stop corruption in
relation to the systems it has in place in a foreign country. The
conduct itself does not need to be in any way connected with the
If your organisation does business in the UK or hopes to do so,
we recommend that you consider the adequacy of its procedures
designed to stop corruption. This includes reviewing the
its Code of Conduct
its anti corruption supervisory and reporting lines
its communications and training in relation to bribery
its due diligence - selection and appointment of third parties
(the failure to implement adequate procedures offence extends to
its due diligence - mergers and acquisition
its whistle blowing systems
its remuneration structures
its implementation of any policies on gifts and corporate
hospitality (not just in respect of foreign public officials)
its disciplinary procedures
its investigation protocols.
Norton Rose's Business Ethics and Anti-Corruption Group is
able to assist you in assessing all of these matters and can
provide detailed advice in relation to the potential implications
of the Act upon your organisation. The group has expertise both in
Australia and in other parts of the globe.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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