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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 76012 Find in a Library
Title: International Trade and the New Swedish Provisions on Corruption
Journal: American Journal of Comparative Law  Volume:27  Dated:(Fall 1979)  Pages:665-677
Author(s): M Bogdan
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 13
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Following a summary of international efforts to combat bribery and corruption in trade, this article assesses the implications of 1978 Swedish penal legislation for punishing bribery of foreign employees and public officials.
Abstract: Although corruption and bribery are often acceptable in international trade, they are enormously costly for the taxpayer. On the international level, efforts to fight corruption have been initiated by European economic associations, the Organization of American States, and the United Nations. Recent amendments to Swedish law made corruption of public officials and of employees in private industry or commerce punishable under the same stipulations contained in the Penal Code. In comparison with prior law, the newer provisions substantially increase the penalties for bribery of private employees. Bribery is illegal even when it tries to persuade a person to exercise duties in accordance with normal obligations, and proof of actual influence is not required. The law does not prohibit all gifts and rewards, but would certainly apply to large-scale corrupt practices involving international trade. The Swedish provisions apply to employees of foreign private enterprises, but appear to exclude foreign public officials. Furthermore, Swedish public prosecutors will prosecute bribery of foreign public employees only at the request of the foreign employer or when Swedish public interests require prosecution. In principle an offense is punishable only if it was committed in Sweden. Thus, a bribe accepted or offered in Sweden by a foreigner is subject to Swedish law, although this interpretation would be influenced by particular circumstances. Several conditions must be fulfilled before Swedish courts can take jurisdiction over offenses committed beyond Sweden, beginning with an evaluation of extraterritorial applications of Swedish law. The criminal act must also be punishable according to the law of the place where it was committed, and the offender must have some connection to Sweden. The new laws make some progress in combating bribery, but contain several flaws such as the exemption for bribery of foreign public officials and the double punishability requirements for acts perpetrated outside Sweden. Finally, if offenders cannot be prosecuted under Swedish law, they can be extradited in accordance with international agreements. Over 40 footnotes are included.
Index Term(s): Bribery; Corruption of public officials; International agreements; Laws and Statutes; Sweden; Trade practices
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