Anti-Corruption Legislation Passed

Author:Ms Muireann Reedy
Profession:Dillon Eustace

The Criminal Justice (Corruption Offences) Act 2018 (the "Act") has recently been signed into law (on 5 June 2018). Last year the Irish Government identified the passing of the Act into law as one of the key measures to be taken to combat white collar crime (see previous article on the Irish Government's white collar crime measures here: Link)

Corporates should be aware that the Act criminalises corruption both in the public and private sectors and therefore they should ensure that they have anti-corruption policies and procedures in place.


The Act gives effect to some of the recommendations made in the Mahon Tribunal and is drafted in broad terms. For example there is a non-exhaustive definition of the term "corruptly", which is stated to include certain behaviours, therefore giving scope for other non-listed behaviours to come within the definition's ambit.

As mentioned above, the Act also covers corruption in the private sector, and as was explained in the Explanatory Memorandum to the Criminal Justice (Corruption Offences) Bill 2017, voluntary bodies such as sporting or charitable organisations are intended to fall with the legislation's remit.

The Act criminalises both direct and indirect corruption i.e. a person who confers a benefit (described in the Act as a "gift, consideration or advantage") on another person where they know, or ought reasonably to know, that the benefit will be used to facilitate an offence under the Act shall be guilty of an offence.

Key provisions

Some notable provisions in the Act are as follows:

active and passive corruption: the Act criminalises (among other things), directly or indirectly, corruptly offering or giving a gift, consideration or advantage to a person on account of "any person" doing an act in relation to his or her office, employment, position or business and the acceptance of a gift, consideration or advantage on this basis. corporate liability: the Act creates a new offence whereby a company can be prosecuted for the acts of directors, managers, employees, agents or subsidiaries (as well as other named parties) who commit an offence under the Act for the company's benefit. It will be a defence for a company to prove that it took all reasonable steps and exercised all due diligence to avoid the commission of the offence. personal liability of senior management: the Act also provides for the individual criminal liability of a company's senior officers for offences committed by the...

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