Today’s Guest Post is by Dr Helen Taylor, senior legal researcher at Spotlight on Corruption, a charity that shines a light on the United Kingdom’s role in corruption at home and abroad. Helen leads Spotlight’s court monitoring programme, tracking the enforcement of the UK’s anti-corruption law in major court cases and building an evidence base for advocacy and policy recommendations on asset recovery, victim compensation, and other corruption-related issues.
Last week a London court fined commodities giant Glencore for bribing officials in five African oil producing nations in return for getting “special deals” on their oil. While the court ordered the company to pay £280 million (just over $318 million) for its numerous violations of the U.K. foreign bribery law, it refused to direct Glencore to compensate those its bribes injured: the governments and citizens of the five nations. In fact, victims did not even get a foot in the courtroom door — the Serious Fraud Office, which prosecuted the case, refused to put a compensation request before the court, and the court itself rejected the Nigerian government’s application for compensation.
The case brings home the pressing need to reform the UK’s compensation framework to ensure overseas victims are represented and compensated in complex corruption cases.Continue reading