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The Rule of Law and Climate Action

The Rule of Law and Climate Action - Interview with Guy Beringer CBE Guy Beringer CBE is Co-Chair of the Bingham Centre Development Board and was formerly the Senior Partner of Allen & Overy.  In this interview he speaks to Richard Lui, MSNBC / NBC presenter, as part of Climate Action Live 2021, an event which featured speakers including Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights; Mary Robinson, chair of The Elders; Sir Richard Branson and Jude Law.  Climate Action…


Modern Slavery and Human Rights Policy and Evidence Centre announces its first research pre-calls

The Modern Slavery and Human Rights Policy and Evidence Centre (the Centre, or Modern Slavery PEC) has today issued its first two pre-calls for research proposals focused on the effects of Covid-19 on modern slavery and on survivor support. The Modern Slavery PEC was created by the investment of £10 million of public funding from the Strategic Priorities Fund to enhance understanding of modern slavery and transform the effectiveness of law and policies designed to overcome it. The Centre…


Repatriating stolen assets in a responsible manner: how do we get there?

This Blog post reflects the author's contribution to an expert meeting on corruption, convened by the International Development Law Organisation (IDLO) in the Hague in October 2019. As the World Bank just concluded its annual meeting  in Washington DC (18-20 October), and the anti-corruption community gears up for the 8th Conference of State Parties on the United Nations Convention Against Corruption  (UNCAC) this December in Abu Dhabi, there are a number of points which should be…


Toward a Meaningful “Common African Position on Asset Recovery”

It's no secret that kleptocratic rulers in Africa have robbed their countries of substantial assets that could have otherwise been used to promote development and social welfare. Indeed, the amounts are often staggering: $16 billion  reportedly stolen by former Libyan President Gaddafi; $1 billion  by Gambia's ex-President Jammeh; billions by former Congolese President Kabila; and the list goes on. Recently, Nigeria's Economic and Financial Crime Commission suggested  that…


Mercosur's New Framework Agreement Is an Asset Recovery Landmark, But Significant Flaws Remain

This comment piece was first published in the Global Anti-Corruption Blog (GAB) - see here . In asset recovery, international collaboration is key. In December 2018, four Mercosur countries—Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay—adopted  a new kind of landmark framework agreement  to collaborate in investigations and sharing of forfeited assets resulting from transnational organized crime, corruption, and illicit drug trafficking. The agreement's provisions on law enforcement…


Accountable Asset Return and the Rule of Law

Various sources and figures are often provided to show the scale of assets plundered by kleptocratcs and hidden overseas. The World Bank estimates that around US$ 8 billion in stolen funds have been frozen, adjudicated, or returned to affected countries since the early 1980s. One of the more pressing issue concerns the return of these stolen assets and the possibility that these repatriated funds be used to foster socio-economic development. Against this backdrop, the Sustainable Development…


France’s New Asset Recovery Bill Is an Important Step Toward Achieving Victim Compensation

This comment piece was first published in the Global Anti-Corruption Blog (GAB) - see here. Where asset recovery is concerned, France is probably best known for the conviction of Teodorin Obiang—the Vice President of Equatorial Guinea and son of the President—for money laundering (the first time that a French court has convicted a serving senior official of a foreign government), which resulted in the court ordering the forfeiture of some of Obiang's assets, worth around USD 150 million.…


Can Non-Conviction based (NCB) asset forfeiture be compliant with the Rule of Law? (Briefing Paper)

Non Conviction-based (NCB) asset forfeiture (also called 'civil forfeiture') is a powerful tool at the disposal of governments to tacle the proceeds and instrumentalities of crime. While NCB provides some advantages compared to criminal forfeiture, it has also been severely criticised because it undermines key constitutional protections and human rights. Project Report This short briefing paper summarises the research findings from research published here. The project reviews how 'developing…


Non-Conviction based forfeiture and the Rule of Law

Non-Conviction based (civil) asset forfeiture mechanisms (NCB) is tool that some states have put in place to tackle the proceeds and instrumentalities of crime. While Article 54(1)(c) of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) encourages member states to allow confiscation without criminal conviction, NCB  attracts considerable criticism as it arguably clashes with human rights and due process protections. This project, which ran from 2018 to early 2019, explored…


Waging War Against Corruption in Developing Countries: How Asset Recovery Can be Compliant with the Rule of Law

It is often said that criminals hardly ever mind financial penalties if they get caught, but on the other hand, they fear losing tangible assets. This is the underlying rationale for asset forfeiture approaches: forfeiting property can be a powerful detractor for crime and corruption. Assume that John was running a gambling operation or cooking drugs in a room he rented from a house belonging to a retired couple. This case naturally raises a lot of questions (e.g. should the whole house…


Conference Summary - The role of the private sector in fostering peace, justice, and strong institutions

Overview On Tuesday 2nd of May, the Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law, with the support of Jones Day, organised a conference on the role of the private sector in fostering peace, justice and strong institutions, as enshrined in Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16. Set at Jones Day in London, this conference considered various questions arising from the intersection of business and SDG 16, including how the business community should engage to advance SDG 16's themes of peace, justice and…


Corruption Risks at the Local Level in the EU and EU Periphery Countries

Most governance and decentralization reforms tend to prioritise transfers of powers from the central to local governments(LGs). This has resulted in greater decision-making, administrative functions and oversight, including concerning the delivery of public services, taxationor other socio-economic policies. There is growing interest and evidence on whether and how corruption impacts decentralisation (as opposed tocentralised systems). Building on the existingliterature…


Business and the Rule of Law

Research and survey data shows the importance of the Rule of Law for businesses, for whom issues such as legality, transparency and access to justice are vital principles to reduce the cost of doing business and mitigate risks. On the other hand, some business practices can also undermine the Rule of Law. The Bingham Centre's business and sustainable development programmes have jointly implemented a number of projects and organised several events which seek to better understand the…


Regulatory challenges underlying FinTech in Kenya and South Africa

Technological innovation in finance ("FinTech") has been on the rise in recent years, creating new challenges for regulators. These challenges vary significantly depending on the region in question and type of economy, not least because different technologies are applied to tackle different problems. This Article by Bingham Centre Research Fellow, Dr Anton Didenko, focuses on regulatory frameworks of two leading jurisdictions in terms of FinTech development in Sub-Saharan Africa: Kenya…


Brazil Must Fight Corruption, But Preserve the Rule of Law

This comment piece was first published in the Global Anti-Corruption Blog (GAB) - see here . Accross Latin America, the past year has provided reasons for hope that the struggle against grand corruption and impunity is finally making progress. Prosecutors have gone after corrupt elites in Guatemala and Honduras, while political leaders in Mexico and Chile have also been under pressure for their links to corruption scandals. And in Brazil, the investigations into the corruption scandal…


The Importance of the Rule of Law in Promoting Development

It is increasingly understood that the Rule of Law can deliver a powerful and lasting boost to the human and economic development of society. What is the nature of this relationship, and what are its consequences for individuals, governments, corporations and transnational actors, ranging from the United Nations to multilateral development banks? In the context of international debates about the content of what became the 2015 UN Sustainable Development Goals, the Bingham Centre organised…

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