Minnesota Law Review

New Solutions to the Age-Old Problem of Private-Sector Bribery

In its wake, commercial bribery leaves increased costs of business, decreased governmental standards and honesty, and a culture of corruption. To combat, and hopefully correct, the evils of corporate bribery, governments have enacted laws to prosecute those willing to pay bribes to garner unfair competitive advantages. Since 1977, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) has stood as the international standard for criminalizing the payments of bribes by businesses or their actors to foreign officials. Other countries have followed suit in recognizing the harms of international bribery, demonstrated recently by the United Kingdom’s enactment of the U.K. Bribery Act in 2010.

Despite the United States’ success in prosecuting public sector bribery with the FCPA, no corresponding federal law exists for private-sector bribery, a similarly prevalent and serious form of corruption. Bribes paid between businesses distort the marketplace, causing economic, political, and commercial impacts in the country where the bribe occurs, and harm certainty and integrity in business for all. To fill this prosecutorial void, the United States relies on a patchwork of laws not originally intended to prosecute private bribery, such as the Travel Act and the mail and wire fraud statutes. However, this makeshift attempt fails to provide the efficiency and threat of an all-encompassing bribery statute.

This Note proposes that a single federal statute outlawing both public and private bribery is the best way to increase knowledge about the illegality and harms of private bribery and stop its occurrence. Using language from numerous state laws that ban private bribery, as well as the U.K. Bribery Act, which outlaws public and private bribery, federal lawmakers could amend the FCPA to protect businesses and citizens from both forms of bribery. Such a revision will ensure that the United States remains current with modern trends in prosecuting international private-sector bribery, allows businesses to understand that private bribery is taken as seriously and prosecuted as severely as public-sector bribery, and will demonstrate the United States’ continuing dedication to safeguarding fair and honest international business practices.

 

:: View PDF

News & Events

  • Minnesota Law Review Alum Remembered 45 Years After Death

    Minnesota Law Review alumnus Tom Cranna was honored at the Annual Banquet this Spring, 45 years after his death. Mr. Cranna was remembered for his contributions to the journal, the school, and the positive impact he had on his family and friends. The Devil’s Lake Journal published a memorial which [...]

  • Follow MLR on Twitter!

    The Minnesota Law Review is proud to announce that we are now on Twitter. Follow us @MinnesotaLawRev for information and updates concerning the petition period and deadlines, the opening and closing of article submissions, our 2014 Symposium: Offenders in the Community, and all other news concerning our authors and publications. [...]

  • Vol. 97 Lead Piece Cited in Al Jazeera Opinion Piece

    A recent Al Jazeera opinion piece that criticizes the Supreme Court’s Daimler decision cites to Volume 97′s lead piece, How Business Fares in the Supreme Court. You can read the Al Jazeera piece here. Share this: on Twitter on Facebook on Google+

  • Masthead for Volume 99 Board

    The masthead for the Board of Volume 99 of the Minnesota Law Review is now available. You can view the masthead here. Share this: on Twitter on Facebook on Google+

  • Above the Law Post Highlights MLR‘s Jump in Journal Rankings

    A recent post on Above the Law highlights the fact that the Minnesota Law Review was ranked 11th in the most recent 2013 edition of the Washington & Lee Law Review Rankings. You can read the post here. Share this: on Twitter on Facebook on Google+

Newsletter

cforms contact form by delicious:days