Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law

First Page



This article explores the efforts of the international community to battle corruption by focusing on the recently promulgated Organization of Economic and Cooperative Development (OECD) Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions. For many years the United States battled corruption by prohibiting its domestic businesses from bribing foreign officials. Other countries, however, generally viewed U.S. policy as a form of unilateral commercial disarmament and declined to pass their own anti-bribery legislation. The Convention, therefore, marks a recent shift by the international community, as it requires signatories to enact laws to punish domestic corporations for bribes paid to foreign officials.

The authors begin by examining the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), the precursor to the OECD Convention, and by describing all cases initiated by the government pursuant to the FCPA. The authors then discuss multinational anti-bribery efforts that ultimately led to the adoption of the Convention. The article focuses on the provisions of the Convention as well as the implementing legislation of various signatories. Finally, the authors explain compliance measures that multinational U.S. corporations have adopted to protect themselves from FCPA violations and outline measures that such corporations can take to ensure compliance with implementing legislation under the OECD Convention.