Abstract: The United Nations Convention against Corruption, the regional anti-corruption conventions, the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and the laws against foreign bribery passed pursuant to the OECD Convention on Bribery have not operated to substantially reduce foreign corrupt practices. The “design fl aw” in these instruments and laws is that they abandon the model of domestic anti-bribery laws that target both the supply and the demand side of corruption and instead focus only on the supply side of corruption. Shielded from international accountability, corrupt offi cials in the demand side continue to extort bribes from investors and other businessmen who wish to operate in their countries. Arbitration decisions that consider corruption in the context of investment disputes also leave unsanctioned corrupt conduct on the part of host country offi cials. While foreign policy objectives of capital exporting states would discourage and prevent a full scale attack on supply side corruption, less controversial measures to discourage and even punish demand side corruption should be established and enforced if foreign commercial bribery is to be meaningfully addressed.
Keywords: foreign corrupt practices; foreign bribery; bribery and foreign investment; investment protection treaties and bribery; demand side corruption
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