Monday, March 7, 2011

New Irish govt. to Introduce Anti-corruption Law

The Independent reports that "Tougher laws to tackle rogue bankers and extra powers for the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) are two key planks of the new Government's strategy to combat crime.

A new anti-corruption law is to be introduced to punish white-collar crime and end what Fine Gael and Labour described as the impunity from consequences for corporate behaviour that threatens the economy.
It is also intended to take steps to prevent convicted white collar criminals from transferring their assets to spouses and other family members and to give power to the CAB to pursue them for any financial gains or benefits deriving from the proceeds of their illegal activities."

The new law must also contain provisions for whistle-blower protection and create a hotline for tips. It is not sufficient to merely pass legislation. As the various reports into the performance of the Dept. of Finance and regulatory bodies have conclusively demonstrated, the problem is poor enforcement even of existing law. Poor technical capability has been a significant contributing factor to the under-enforcement problem. So, any new legislation must provide for appropriately skilled staff and resources. White collar criminals are not going to be lacking in good legal representation. Expecting the same old departments to fight them just with new laws that look good on the books is a bridge too far.