The Bribery Act in Scotland

The Bribery Act in Scotland

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About the The Bribery Act in Scotland Group

While the UK Bribery Act applies in Scotland as in England & Wales, Scotland has a separate legal system and enforcement of the Act will be dealt with by the Scottish law... more »
While the UK Bribery Act applies in Scotland as in England & Wales, Scotland has a separate legal system and enforcement of the Act will be dealt with by the Scottish law enforcement authorities, the police and the Crown Office. Businesses operating in Scotland have to deal with additional uncertainties as a result, and will need to be kept informed regarding the approach taken by the Scottish authorities.

Through this group businesses and advisors can share concerns and advice about how to deal with compliance and enforcement in Scotland.

The Scottish Perspective

Crime is a devolved matter in the hands of the Scottish Government. Recognising that the law of bribery ought to be consistent throughout the UK, the Scottish government consented to Westminster passing legislating that would apply in Scotland.

Although the law is the same in Scotland and England & Wales, the bodies responsible for enforcement of the Act are entirely separate. In England & Wales the main enforcement body in this area is the SFO, which has no jurisdiction in Scotland. In Scotland investigations and prosecutions will be carried out by the police and the Crown Office.

In England and Wales the SFO” encourages organisations to self-report if they uncover suspicious activity in the organisation or by a business associate. The attraction for organisations is that the SFO has a leniency policy for self-reporters and can reach an out of court settlement involving a fine, usually amounting to a number of millions of pounds, without the organisation being convicted. The organisation thereby avoids exclusion from public contracts.

Scottish organisations are at a disadvantage as the SFO has no jurisdiction north of the border and the Scottish enforcement bodies (the police and the Crown Office) have no leniency policy and no mechanism for imposing an out of court penalty. There is therefore no incentive for Scottish organisations to self-report. « less

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About this Group

  • Created: June 3, 2011
  • Type: Corporate Group
  • Members: 35
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