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Institute of Banking and Finance Law

Workshops with Mr Sean Hagan, former IMF General Counsel, on Global Anti-Corruption

When: Wednesday, March 6, 2019 - Wednesday, March 20, 2019, 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Where: Room 1.2, CCLS, 67-69 Lincoln's Inn Fields, London, WC2A 3JB

Addressing corruption has become a global priority. The growing number of high profile cases involving the abuse of public power for private gain has generated moral outrage, particularly at a time of rising inequality. Moreover, there is an emerging consensus that systemic corruption not only undermines a country’s economic performance but can also lead to political instability and armed conflict. Through interactive participation, the Course will examine the societal impact of public sector corruption and the efficacy of the criminal, regulatory and administrative steps that are being taken to address it, both at the national level and international levels. The Course will be interdisciplinary, focusing on the legal, political, economic and institutional dimensions of this highly complex problem.

Finding a universally accepted understanding of what we mean by “corruption” can prove elusive, and the course will begin by examining how lawyers and social scientists have approached this question. The course will then identify the environments that typically enable corruption to flourish: natural resource economies, entrenched organised crime, transition economies, and armed-conflict situations. It will also assess the debilitating impact that corruption has on overall economic performance, inequality, poverty, political stability and national security.

Taking into account the above considerations, the course will identify the key ingredients of an effective anti-corruption strategy, emphasising the importance of a holistic approach that includes not only effective criminalisation and prosecution but also comprehensive regulatory and administrative reform. The course will include case studies of reform based, inter alia, on the experience of the IMF, focusing on anti-corruption programmes in several countries that have been implemented in a crisis context, including Indonesia and the Ukraine. Importantly, the course will also assess international efforts to address both the “supply” side of corruption (the provision of bribes to public officials by large corporations) and the problem of “concealment” (when banks in major jurisdictions assist in the laundering of the proceeds of corruption of foreign officials). These issues will be addressed through a close study of the OECD’s Anti-Bribery Convention and the 40 Recommendations on Anti-Money Laundering and Combatting of the Financing of the Financial Action Task Force. Corruption within the political system will also be examined, including explicit bribery of politicians, conflicts of interests, and private financing of political campaigns, sometimes referred to as “legalised corruption”. Finally, the course will examine the relationship between corruption and Human Rights and, in that context, will assess the merits of proposals to establish an International Court on Corruption. The goal for the classes is to be interactive. Student participation based on the assigned readings is key.

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