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The Australian National University

TRIC Lectures and Seminars - 2012

Professor Stuart Green - Official Bribery and Commercial Bribery: Should They Be Distinguished?

In a first for TRIC our most recent Public Lecture, that by Professor Stuart Green from Rutgers University, has been recorded for broader viewing via YouTube.

In his lecture, Stuart explored how Anglophone law has traditionally drawn a sharp distinction between bribes paid to government officials and bribes paid in the commercial context: the former has universally been regarded as a serious crime; the latter, often, not a crime at all.  Recent legislative developments – most notably, enactment of the U.K.’s Bribery Act 2010 – suggest that the distinction between official and commercial bribery is much less sharp than it once was.

While originally based on a forthcoming chapter in: Jeremy Horder and Peter Alldridge (eds.), Modern Bribery Law: Comparative Perspectives (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012), Stuart broadened his talk to include an empirical study on public attitudes towards bribery.

Those who wish to know more can watch the lecture at their leisure via the ANU YouTube Channel by clicking here.The accompanying slides are here.

Dr. David Solomon - Integrity in Queensland

Queensland has come a long way from the days of the ‘moonlight state’ of the 1960s, 70s and 80s. More than two decades have passed since the Fitzgerald Inquiry exposed the entrenched and systemic corruption at the highest levels of Queensland political life. However, the 2009 jailing of former Labour Minister Gordon Nutall for receiving secret commissions indicates how easily corrupt practices can return.

To counter the pervasiveness of corruption, the Queensland government established the office of the Integrity Commissioner in 1999. Dr David Solomon AM is the Queensland Integrity Commissioner. He has two main functions – providing advice (when asked) about ethics or integrity issues, including conflicts of interest) to politicians and senior public servants; and running Queensland’s lobbyists’ register. In his lecture focussed on the advice he provides, explaining how the system works, what it achieves and where it fails.

More details of the Commissioner's role can be found here.

Extortion: Setting fire to an Arab Spring - A Threat to All

On Monday 27 February, Dr Denis Osborne, former UK High Commissioner to Malawi and consultant on governance presented the first of the TRIC public lectures for 2012. Drawing from a paper he is preparing, Dr Osborne spoke to a group of academics, practitioners and members of the public on the differences between bribery and extortion, and how one can lead to the other. Core to his argument was that enticement is a bribe is offered to get an unfair benefit, whereas extortion was a bribe demanded to get fair treatment.

To counter such activity, Denis made reference to innovative practices, such as the website in Bangalore, India  - http://ipaidabribe.com - where victims can report those officials extorting them when providing services that should be the victims' as a matter of right.

Some interesting questions and points were raised by those in attendance, including the effect that technology can have for those wanting to record and report extortion attempts, and how, as travellers, people can become victims of extortion under the mistaken belief they are paying a legitimate fee.

A copy of the paper Denis presented can be located here, and a copy of his handout from the lecture here.

For people interested in Dr. Osborne's other work in governance and anti-corruption, you can visit his website here.

Updated: 4 October 2016/ Responsible Officer:  Jodie Mildenhall / Page Contact:  Jodie Mildenhall