Major Recent Developments in International Anti-Corruption

There have been some significant developments in the world of international anti-corruption laws in recent months. The following are a few examples:

  • Greater transparency in corporate charging decisions. Assistant Attorney General of the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice Leslie Caldwell recently made a promise to increase transparency in the way the division issues charging decisions in corporate cases. These more detailed written explanations of why the decisions occurred will offer greater insight into the claims against big corporations and how potential plaintiffs may find success.
  • More challenges to the way the SEC uses administrative proceedings. The SEC has used an increasing number of administrative proceedings since the Dodd-Frank Act passed several years ago. However, the agency is facing a growing number of legal challenges to the constitutionality of those proceedings. Even if all of these challenges are unsuccessful, it could prompt changes from Congress to alter how the SEC pursues resolutions in Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) cases.
  • China puts more emphasis on anti-corruption campaigns. Add China to the list of countries attempting to put a stop to corporate corruption. The country released a list of the top fugitives of economic crimes, and prosecuted one of its wealthiest and most powerful oil executives on corruption charges.
  • Walmart FCPA allegations face challenges. Walmart recently moved to dismiss some FCPA lawsuits against it after allegations emerged that U.S. headquarters covered up corruption in Walmex, the corporation’s Mexican affiliate. The result will be a complicated legal battle with plenty of challenges for prosecuting attorneys.