Comparative Guides

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4. Results: Answers
Anti-Corruption & Bribery
Trends and predictions
How would you describe the current anti-corruption enforcement landscape and prevailing trends in your jurisdiction? Are any new developments anticipated in the next 12 months, including any proposed legislative reforms?

Answer ... The German judiciary finds it difficult to effectively combat corruption. This is due in particular to the fact that insufficient judicial resources are available to resolve these often very complex issues.

Corruption criminal law has undergone several legislative changes in recent years. It cannot be ruled out that there will be additional changes in the foreseeable future. For example, changes to Sections 331 and following of the Penal Code may be necessary on the basis of the Directive on the Fight against Fraud affecting the Union’s Financial Interests. In addition, legal restrictions are being discussed due to the breadth of some corruption offences. Proposals include the introduction of a self-reporting system exempting corruption offences and a corruption amnesty.

It is also possible that the legal basis for sanctioning companies will change in the foreseeable future. In the coalition agreement for the 18th parliamentary term, the parties have agreed to expand the administrative offence law. It is to be expected that in the future, companies will not be held exclusively liable for breaches of supervisory duties by management personnel, but that direct corporate liability will be introduced.

On the basis of the recently published draft EU directive on whistleblower protection, it is to be expected in the medium term that Germany will align the level of protection afforded to anonymous whistleblowers with EU requirements. The expectation is that whistleblowers will then increasingly decide to report legal violations such as corruption.

For more information about this answer please contact: André-M. Szesny from Heuking Kuehn Lueer Wojtek PartGmbB