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?
 
United Arab Emirates
In terms of Article 239 of the Federal Penal Code, if bribers or intermediaries report an offence before it is discovered, they shall be exempt from the penalty. The code makes no mention of whether parties which accept a bribe will be exempt from the penalty if they report the bribe.

Should the offender (in any context as defined) plead guilty, this will likely be considered a mitigating circumstance.

In these types of cases the courts have wide discretion to consider the circumstances of each matter and any mitigating factors that may apply in deciding on the type of punishment that should be handed down.

For more information about this answer please contact: Nadim Bardawil from BSA Ahmad Bin Hezeem & Associates LLP
5.2
Can the existence of an anti-corruption compliance programme constitute a defence to charges of anti-corruption violations?
 
United Arab Emirates
As per question 5.1, this will likely be a mitigating circumstance in a matter.

For more information about this answer please contact: Nadim Bardawil from BSA Ahmad Bin Hezeem & Associates LLP
5.3
What other defences are available to companies charged with anti-corruption violations?
 
United Arab Emirates
Articles 234 and 237 of the Federal Penal Code make clear that there is no defence to bribery.

Article 234 goes further and specially states the following: “Any person who commits or omits an act included in his duties even if he has intended not to commit or omit such act.” Even if the party which has accepted a bribe had no intention of committing or omitting the act in question, this is irrelevant. With such a strenuous onus placed on the population, both public and private, there are clearly no defences to the act of bribery and corruption.

Again, there may be mitigating circumstances, but there is no absolute defence.

For more information about this answer please contact: Nadim Bardawil from BSA Ahmad Bin Hezeem & Associates LLP
5.4
Can companies negotiate a pre-trial settlement through plea bargaining, settlement agreements or similar?
 
United Arab Emirates
Currently, no legislation provides for this. However, should a company cooperate fully, this may be a mitigating circumstance at the time of sentencing.

For more information about this answer please contact: Nadim Bardawil from BSA Ahmad Bin Hezeem & Associates LLP
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)?
 
United Arab Emirates
The penalties differ between companies and individuals, but both can be severe.

For bribery, individuals can face up to 15 years in prison or a fine equal to the bribe or AED 5,000 (whichever is higher). Crimes under other corruptions laws will also command a fine and/or jail sentence.

Further administrative penalties can be imposed by supervisory authorities pertaining to money laundering and funding of terrorism, such as:

  • fines;
  • sector exclusion;
  • cancellation of trade licences;
  • suspension of business operations;
  • restrictions on owners or board members; and
  • warnings.

For companies, the penalties are fines as well as possible administrative penalties, as described in question 5.5.

For more information about this answer please contact: Nadim Bardawil from BSA Ahmad Bin Hezeem & Associates LLP
5.6
What is the statute of limitations to prosecute anti-corruption violations in your jurisdiction?
 
United Arab Emirates
There is no statute of limitations for a claim against bribery.

Article 239 bis 2 of the code states as follows:

A criminal lawsuit shall not be terminated by lapse of time limitation in any of the crimes set forth in this Chapter, and the punishment imposed shall not be extinguished. Moreover, civil actions either arising or related thereto shall not be terminated by the lapse of time limitation.

For more information about this answer please contact: Nadim Bardawil from BSA Ahmad Bin Hezeem & Associates LLP