Corporate Crime Bill update

The Crimes Legislation Amendment (Combatting Foreign Bribery) Bill 2023 has been introduced into the House of Representatives to amend the Commonwealth Criminal Code.

UPDATE: The Bill was passed by the House of Representatives on 5 September 2023  and introduced into the Senate on 6 September.

The Bill will introduce a new indictable corporate offence of failing to prevent foreign bribery. This offence will apply where an associate of a body corporate has committed bribery for the profit or gain of the body corporate. It will be a defence if the body corporate can establish that it had ‘adequate procedures’ in place to prevent the commission of foreign bribery by its associates.

The Bill also:
(i) extends the foreign bribery offence to include the bribery of candidates for public office (not just current holders of public office);
(ii) extends the foreign bribery offence to include bribery conducted to obtain a personal advantage (the current offence is restricted to bribery conducted to obtain or retain a business advantage);
(iii) removes the existing requirement that the benefit or business advantage be ‘not legitimately due’ and replaces it with the concept of ‘improperly influencing’ a foreign public official;
(iv) removes the existing requirement that the foreign public official be influenced in the exercise of their official duties; and
(v) makes it clear that the foreign bribery offence does not require the prosecution to prove that the accused had a specific business, or business or personal advantage, in mind, and that the business, or business or personal advantage, can be obtained for someone else.

Key measures of this Bill are substantially the same as the previous Crimes Legislation Amendment (Combatting Corporate Crime) Bills that lapsed. Background.

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David Jacobson

Author: David Jacobson
Principal, Bright Corporate Law
About David Jacobson
The information contained in this article is not legal advice. It is not to be relied upon as a full statement of the law. You should seek professional advice for your specific needs and circumstances before acting or relying on any of the content.

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