The Criminalisation of Bribery in Asia and the Pacific

image of The Criminalisation of Bribery in Asia and the Pacific

Criminalisation is a key component of all international anti-corruption instruments. For example, the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions (Anti-Bribery Convention) and the UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) both require States Parties to enact specific criminal offences on bribery. The Asian Development Bank (ADB)/Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Anti-Corruption Initiative's Action Plan commits countries to ensure ‘the existence of legislation with dissuasive sanctions which effectively and actively combat the offence of bribery of public officials’.

However, criminalisation can be a challenging task, as experienced by many countries Party to the Anti-Bribery Convention. This report reviews the criminalisation of bribery offences in Asian countries under the UNCAC. Drawing on the experience of the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention's monitoring mechanism, the review focuses on each member's implementation of UNCAC Articles 15, 16 and 26 (domestic and foreign bribery by natural and legal persons). The review also identifies trends and challenges across the Asia-Pacific region.



Japanese criminal law and procedure draw from French, German and (more recently) Anglo-American legal systems. As a Party to the OECD Anti- Bribery Convention, Japan’s offences for foreign bribery have been extensively reviewed. Its domestic bribery offences, however, have not been externally reviewed. As of August 2009, Japan has signed but has not ratified the UNCAC. Japan has been a member of the FATF and APG since 1990 and 1997 respectively. To avoid duplication, this report will rely heavily on the OECD’s monitoring reports regarding the foreign bribery offence and related enforcement issues. It will also refer to FATF/APG evaluation reports whenever appropriate.


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