Shatter Welcomes Ratification of the United Nations Convention against Corruption

The Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence, Alan Shatter has welcomed Ireland’s ratification of the UN Convention Against Corruption.

The instrument of ratification was lodged with the United Nations in New York following Mr Shatter’s motion seeking Dáil approval for the Convention last month.

In welcoming the ratification Minister Shatter said, "The Government is committed to tackling corruption and all forms of white collar crime. Ratification of the UN Convention sends a clear signal to the international community of our determination to prevent and punish corruption. Earlier this year I brought forward the Criminal Justice Act 2011 to strengthen Garda powers for investigating white collar crime, and next year I will publish a Bill to consolidate and reform the law on corruption"

The Convention is a comprehensive anti-corruption treaty which requires countries to implement legal and regulatory regimes to fight corruption within both the private and public sectors. Its aims are to promote, facilitate and support international co-operation and technical assistance in the prevention of and fight against corruption including asset recovery, as well as promoting accountability and proper management of public affairs and public property.

 

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Note to Editors

Currently there are over 150 states which are a party to the Convention, including virtually all of the EU Member States. Becoming a party to the Convention will enhance Ireland's international reputation, as well as underlining our commitment to working with international partners to combat corruption.

The State is also party to the OECD Convention and the Council of Europe Criminal Law Convention on Corruption, as well as the European Union Instrument on the protection of the European Communities’ financial interests.

The Council of Europe Group of States Against Corruption (GRECO) and the OECD carry out regular evaluations of Member States’ implementation of the various conventions. An evaluation of Ireland’s compliance with earlier recommendations made by the GRECO will conclude in December this year. Ratification of the UN Convention will entail a similar evaluation mechanism. The EU is also currently developing its anti-corruption strategy in the context of the Stockholm Programme, and is likely to develop a formal association with GRECO.

Following its adoption by the United Nations General Assembly in October 2003, Ireland signed the Convention in December of that year.

Most of the provisions of the Convention reflect existing Irish anti-corruption legislation and practice for many years. However, it was considered preferable not to proceed with formal ratification of this measure until after enactment of the Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Act, 2010, which strengthened the law on corruption, as well as the introduction of the enhanced money laundering regime under the Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) Act, 2010.

 

10 November, 2011