• Duško Dimitrijević Institute of International Politics and Economics


International law, international organizations, conventions, corruption



The purpose of this paper is to analyze some of the most important international legal instruments governing the fight against corruption. The existing international legal framework includes international and regional agreements and other legal acts adopted under the auspices of the United Nations, the European Union, the Council of Europe, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the Organization of American States, the African Union and other important international organizations.



Using the comparative, normative, teleological and linguistic method, the author analyzes the main provisions of international legal instruments concerning the use of common terms and definitions of corruption, its prohibition and incrimination, jurisdiction of judicial bodies, determination of legal responsibility, sanctions, monitoring of preventive and other measures, all in order to get a more realistic picture of the functional relationship that exists between the various legal regimes that regulate corruption in the international legal field as one of the most problematic forms of crime in the contemporary world.



The paper finds that there are certain differences between international legal instruments that regulate corruption offenses. This knowledge may be important for further harmonization of the international legal framework on the fight against corruption. This finding can be useful for the consistent incorporation of international anti-corruption standards into national legislation, in order to avoid situations where corrupt acts are treated unequally due to the application of different legal standards at the national level, which may be crucial for their incrimination and punishment especially when corruption acquires transnational characteristics. Thus, for example, by implementing the standards present in the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention, States can opt for a much narrower approach that calls exclusively for the incrimination of so-called “active bribery”. On the other hand, if States implement standards from some other international legal instruments, such as the Criminal Law Convention on Corruption of the Council of Europe, then States will sanction a number of different corrupt activities with their internal legislation. Considering that in modern conditions, corrupt activities are taking more and more forms of transnational organized crime, according to the authors, only institutionalized mechanisms of international police and judicial cooperation can help in their suppression and punishment.



The scientific value of this paper derives from a comparative legal analysis of the most important international legal instruments and mechanisms used against corruption at the international legal level. The results obtained by the author during the analysis may be important in the implementation of international legal standards on the prevention and punishment of corruption in the domestic legal order. The paper has some original value as it points to the harmful consequences of non-application or inconsistent application of adopted international legal standards on the fight against corruption for social security, good governance and rule of law, which are basic preconditions for developing any democratically stable and economically sustainable societies.


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