Comparative Guides
Welcome to Mondaq Comparative Guides - your comparative global Q&A guide.
Our Comparative Guides provide an overview of some of the key points of law and practice and allow you to compare regulatory environments and laws across multiple jurisdictions.
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Results: 4 Answers
Anti-Corruption & Bribery
5.
Enforcement
5.1
Can companies that voluntarily report anti-corruption violations or cooperate with investigations benefit from leniency in your jurisdiction?
 
Ireland
In Ireland, formal leniency agreements are not available to corporate entities in respect of a violation of anti-corruption laws. However, if a prosecution is taken by the authorities, voluntarily reporting the violation or cooperating with the investigation may be a factor in mitigation of sentence.

For more information about this answer please contact: Jillian Conefrey from Arthur Cox
5.2
Can the existence of an anti-corruption compliance programme constitute a defence to charges of anti-corruption violations?
 
Ireland
As set out above, it is a defence for the body corporate to prove that it took all reasonable steps and exercised all due diligence to avoid the commission of the offence. While not a defence in itself, having an adequate anti-corruption programme in place may assist a body corporate in proving that it took reasonable steps to prevent the commission of the offence. In the event of such a prosecution and reliance on the foregoing defence, the company’s anti-corruption policies and procedures are likely to come under intense scrutiny.

For more information about this answer please contact: Jillian Conefrey from Arthur Cox
5.3
What other defences are available to companies charged with anti-corruption violations?
 
Ireland
Other defences which may be relied upon by a company would be to demonstrate that any payment, gift, consideration or advantage in issue was not given corruptly and was given in the normal course of business.

For more information about this answer please contact: Jillian Conefrey from Arthur Cox
5.4
Can companies negotiate a pre-trial settlement through plea bargaining, settlement agreements or similar?
 
Ireland
In Ireland, the courts have exclusive jurisdiction in relation to sentencing in criminal matters. The law does not provide for formal plea bargaining or the entering into of settlement agreements with the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions. However, it may be possible for an accused in a criminal matter to plea to a lesser charge than that with which he or she is initially charged, which may result in a more lenient sentence. In all instances, the court retains ultimate discretion relating to sentencing.

For more information about this answer please contact: Jillian Conefrey from Arthur Cox
5.5
What penalties can be imposed for violations of the anti-corruption legislation? Can non-exhaustive penalties be imposed for such violations (eg, exclusion from public procurement, exclusion from entitlement to public benefits or aid, disqualification from the practice of certain commercial activities, judicial winding up)?
 
Ireland
Under the Corruption Act, on summary conviction, penalties range from a fine of up to €5,000 to imprisonment for up to 12 months and/or forfeiture of property of the value of the gift or benefit obtained in connection with the offence.

On conviction on indictment, penalties range from an unlimited fine to imprisonment for up to 10 years and/or forfeiture of property of the value of the gift or benefit obtained in connection with the offence. In certain circumstances, the court may also order an Irish official to forfeit his or her office and prohibit him or her from holding office in particular Irish official positions for up to 10 years.

For more information about this answer please contact: Jillian Conefrey from Arthur Cox
5.6
What is the statute of limitations to prosecute anti-corruption violations in your jurisdiction?
 
Ireland
The offences contained under the Corruption Act are ‘hybrid offences’, meaning that the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions can elect for either summary disposal (which carries a six-month statutory time limit) or trial on indictment of the offence. No statute of limitations exists in respect of the commencement of proceedings in the prosecution of indictable offences, so in theory the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions may elect to institute proceedings at any point in respect of an offence under the Corruption Act.

For more information about this answer please contact: Jillian Conefrey from Arthur Cox