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Non-State Actors in Asset Recovery

Edited By Daniel Thelesklaf and Pedro Gomes Pereira

Non-state actors are of fundamental importance in the prevention and combating of corruption within asset recovery processes. Their roles and responsibilities were considered during an experts’ meeting hosted by the Basel Institute on Governance and the International Anti-Corruption Academy in September 2010.
This book contains essays presented at the meeting, written by practitioners and academics with extensive experiences in the numerous fields which comprise asset recovery processes. The contributions offer a diversity of views on roles which non-state actors (can) play in preventing and combating corruption and other forms of financial crimes.
The editors conclude by offering insights into ongoing challenges in asset recovery processes and ways to overcome these challenges.

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VALENTIN ZELLWEGER - Introduction xxv

Extract

VALENTIN ZELLWEGER Introduction Corrupt practices have long been accepted as a fact of life and inalien- able part of any governmental power structure. Public funds are stolen and embezzled in all parts of the world and all countries, big or small, rich or poor. Nonetheless, in the past two decades, the international community has deployed considerable means in bringing an end to the phenomenon. And progress has been made. Just consider, a few years back, formal tax deductions for bribes paid by domestic companies in other countries were common practice in export-oriented economies. Not only have such incentives been repealed in the meantime but those countries have also criminalised the payment of bribes in other jurisdictions. The adoption of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) by the UN General Assembly on 31 October 2003 has brought the fight against corruption to a universal level and has greatly enhanced the prospects of eradicating corrupt practices. UNCAC provides for a general obligation of States Parties to pre- vent and combat corruption. States have to legislate accordingly. They also have a duty to co-operate with a view to returning stolen assets to the countries of origin. A whole chapter of UNCAC is devoted to that topic (chapter V, comprising 9 articles). According to these provisions, proceeds of corruption confiscated by one state shall be, if possible, re- turned to their prior legitimate owners, in most cases their state of origin. Over the past years, numerous states have complemented their in- ternal legislation,...

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