Bribery in international business

Public consultation on foreign bribery and the liability of legal persons


Call for comment by the OECD Working Group on Bribery

As part of its work to promote the implementation of the Anti-Bribery Convention, the OECD Working Group on Bribery (WGB) conducted a public consultation from 26 August-3 November 2016 in order to seek insights on systems for the liability of legal persons for foreign bribery. The WGB invited participants in this consultation to share their experiences with existing systems as well as their perspectives on how such systems could be improved.

Download a compilation of responses to the call for comment.

Download a summary of responses to the call for comment. 

These comments were made available at the OECD Roundtable on Corporate Liability for Foreign Bribery on 9 December 2016. They will also be used by the WGB as inputs to its process of continually improving its monitoring of Parties' foreign bribery laws.

The final version of the stocktaking report was released on 9 December 2016 on the occasion of International Anti-Corruption Day.

The liability of legal persons is a key feature of the emerging legal infrastructure for the global economy.  Without it, governments face a losing battle in the fight against foreign bribery and other complex economic crimes.


The draft report entitled Liability of Legal Persons: A Stocktaking presents a chronology and a “mapping” of the features of the systems for liability of legal persons found in the 41 Parties to the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention. It served as background paper to the consultation. 


The consultation information note provides background information on the consultation and a list of issues drawn from the preliminary version of the stocktaking report on the liability of legal persons. Contributors were invited to address any or all of these issues. 


Contacts: Any questions should be sent to [email protected] and [email protected].



> Summary of responses

Compilation of responses

Consultation Information Note

> OECD Roundtable on Corporate Liability for Foreign Bribery - 9 December 2016

Anti-Bribery Convention



What is the definition of liability of legal persons?

For the purposes of this consultation, “legal persons” refers to organisations (e.g. corporations) that have legal rights and are subject to legal obligations. Among these, the Anti-Bribery Convention requires the Parties "to establish the liability of legal persons for foreign bribery” and to apply “effective, proportionate and dissuasive” penalties to legal persons for foreign bribery. In this way, the Anti-Bribery Convention helps to ensure that business organisations or other entities—not just individuals—can be held responsible for foreign bribery.



Holding companies, not just individuals, responsible for corporate crime, Brandon L. Garrett, Justice Thurgood Marshall Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of Virginia School of Law


A corporate right to silence and privilege against self-incrimination?, Stijn Lamberigts, PhD researcher at the University of Luxembourg and junior affiliated researcher at the Institute of Criminal Law of the KU Leuven


Business speaks out on preventing corporate crime, Klaus Moosmayer, Chief Compliance Officer, Siemens AG, and Chair of the BIAC Task Force on Anti-Bribery/Corruption, and Dr. Ulrike Desimoni, Senior Counsel Compliance Legal, Siemens AG


OECD Working Group releases report on liability of legal persons for foreign bribery,
Kathryn Gordon, Senior Economist, and Brooks Hickman, Anti-Corruption Analyst, OECD Anti-Corruption Division




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