International Corporate Responsibility Series

Volume 4, 2009

A Survey of International Corporate Responsibility

Simeon Obidairo
Pages 129-177

International Framework of Corporate Liability for Transnational Corruption
A Case Study of the OFFP and BAE Scandal

The revelation of widespread corruption in the Oil-for-Food Programme (the “Programme”) and the recent scandal involving the British arms manufacturer BAE Systems threatens to unravel the fragile global consensus on combating corruption. This paper outlines the emerging global consensus and legal framework on corruption and assesses the extent to which this consensus has been undermined by the above mentioned revelations of corruption. Both incidents provide an interesting context in which to analyse some of the difficult issues presented in the regulation of transnational corruption. The regulation of transnational corruption provides a framework for analyzing the critical dimensions of the interaction between the norms in various domestic communities and the transnational context of these interactions. The paper argues that the current framework of multilateral efforts to curb transnational corruption is unable to tackle the problem effectively and concludes that the liability framework for engaging in transnational corruption has almost exclusively been the result of political expediency rather than that of empirical information. By examining the multilateral efforts by the international community to combat corruption, the paper generates questions about the status and future direction of the fight against corruption under international law.