29 June 2017

Slavery and Corruption - Comparative Law

The elegant 'Slavery and Comparative Law in Eighteenth Century England' (University of Leicester School of Law Research Paper No. 17-08) by Michael Tugendhat addresses 
the contemporary criticism to the European Court of Human Rights in the UK by underscoring how the English law on human rights has been positively influenced by the laws of other European countries, in the same fashion as English law has traditionally influenced such foreign laws. The means for this analysis is a case-study on the introduction of the French law on slavery and the subsequent implementation of such principles in England. Slavery had been abolished in France since the early 1300s. Moorish slaves brought to France were being freed from at least 1571, as was recorded by Jean Bodin in 1576. In England, slavery had practically disappeared at the sunset of the Middle Ages. It resurfaced in the French and American colonies in the New World in the 1600s. In the period 1730-1790 French courts, citing Bodin, freed over 200 slaves brought to France from the colonies. In Somerset v Stewart, 1772, English courts finally held that slavery was not recognised by English law, which led to the termination of slavery in England once and for all; and it was the influence of French courts’ decisions on the bestowal of freedom to foreign slaves that led to the reasoning of the English Court.
'The Market for Global Anticorruption Enforcement' by Rachel Brewster and Samuel W. Buell in (2017) 80(193) Law and Contemporary Problems comments 
In just two decades, enforcement of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) has evolved from a backwater of corporate and international financial crime to one of the most prominent and feared laws in those fields. What accounts for the ten-fold increase, over just 15 years, in the annual FCPA case volume produced by United States enforcers? We explain the development as arising from a confluence of independent but nonetheless symbiotic international and domestic political and economic forces. First, in the international arena, policymakers dramatically shifted their beliefs in the harms from bribery. This change and the continuous American pressure to conclude an anti-bribery treaty created a new consensus among major exporting countries to criminalize foreign bribery. This opened up new political and institutional paths to pursue the supply of foreign bribes. Second, U.S. enforcement lawyers eagerly pursued these newly available paths, propelled by political pressure and professional considerations. Third and inevitably, a large and active FCPA defense bar emerged that, perhaps ironically, helps keep primed a now steady pump of FCPA actions into the U.S. corporate enforcement system. A fourth stage has begun in which other nations, particularly in Europe, are both assisting and competing with the U.S. in the field of anti-corruption enforcement. It remains to be seen how this latest development will, over the longer haul, affect the size of the global market for anti-corruption enforcement and the U.S. share of that market.
'Reducing Bureaucratic Corruption: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on What Works' by Jordan Gans-Morse, Mariana Borges, Alexey Makarin, Theresa Mannah Blankson, Andre Nickow and Dong Zhang states that it offers
the first comprehensive review of the interdisciplinary state of knowledge regarding anti-corruption policies, with a particular focus on reducing corruption among civil servants. Drawing on the work of economists, political scientists, sociologists, and anthropologists, we examine seven categories of anti-corruption strategies: (1) rewards and penalties; (2) monitoring; (3) restructuring bureaucracies; (4) screening and recruiting; (5) anti-corruption agencies; (6) educational campaigns; and (7) international agreements. Notably, rigorous empirical evaluation is lacking for the majority of commonly prescribed anti-corruption strategies. Nevertheless, we find growing evidence of the effectiveness of anti-corruption audits and e-governance. In addition, adequate civil service wages seem to be a necessary but insufficient condition for control of corruption. An emerging skepticism regarding the effectiveness of anti-corruption agencies also is apparent in the literature. We conclude with broader lessons drawn from our review, such as the recognition that when corruption is a systemic problem, it cannot be treated in the long-term with individual-level solutions.