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Extraterritorial Enforcement of Anti-Bribery Laws: Patterns of Enforcement and their Effects on Global Competition

Branislav Hock

The OECD Anti-bribery Convention obliges its signatory states to prohibit subjected firms from bribing foreign government officials in international business transactions. The enforcement of the Convention has increased enormously in recent years. Authors have long discussed effects of the new enforcement dynamics; but few have attempted to address the question why we see in a world of rational states the increasing enforcement. Firstly, this article uses insights from theories of state behaviour to determine the motivations and leading policy goals of anti-bribery enforcement (patterns of enforcement). Secondly, it builds a conceptual model explaining the causal link between the patterns of enforcement and their effects on global competition. The model demonstrates that the patterns overlap and cannot be understood as self-standing concepts. By that reason the tested theories cannot by themselves explain a causal link between the patterns and effects which are assigned to them. The article presents implications for further research and argues that the enforcement motivations should be further examined in the context of new enforcement dynamics characterised by assertion of broad extraterritorial jurisdiction. This is a challenge to take a step back and adjust the traditional assumptions about limits and functioning of public international law.

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