How is bribery defined?

Bribery & Corruption

India Small Flag India

Section 171B of the Indian Penal Code, defines bribery as follows:

171B. Bribery — (1) Whoever—

(i) gives a gratification to any person with the object of inducing him or any other person to exercise any electoral right or of rewarding any person for having exercised any such right; or

(ii) accepts either for himself or for any other person any gratification as a reward for exercising any such right or for inducing or attempting to induce any other person to exercise any such right, commits the offence of bribery:

Provided that a declaration of public policy or a promise of public action shall not be an offence under this section.

(2) A person who offers, or agrees to give, or offers or attempts to procure, a gratification shall be deemed to give a gratification.

(3) A person who obtains or agrees to accept or attempts to obtain a gratification shall be deemed to accept a gratification, and a person who accepts a gratification as a motive for doing what he does not intend to do, or as a reward for doing what he has not done, shall be deemed to have accepted the gratification as a reward.

Angola Small Flag Angola

Passive corruption crime
The conduct of a civil servant who, by himself or through a third party designated for such purpose and with his consent or ratification, requests or accepts receiving a pecuniary or non-pecuniary advantage as compensation for the commission of a certain act or omission is punishable pursuant to Article 37 (1) and (2) LCMLO, which define the crime of passive corruption for an unlawful act and the crime of passive corruption for a lawful act, respectively.

Thus, the elements of a passive corruption crime are the following:

  1. the request or acceptance by a civil servant of a pecuniary or non-pecuniary advantage or the promise of such advantage, either directly or through a third party, for himself or for a third party; and
  2. the act or omission by a civil servant (precedent passive corruption) or the act or omission of an act already carried out by a civil servant (subsequent passive corruption). The act or omission may be contrary to the civil servant’s duties, thus leading to the commission of an unlawful act, or it may correspond to a lawful act where there is no breach of the civil servant’s duties. In any case, the act or the omission must represent consideration for the advantage mentioned in (i).

Only wilful misconduct is punishable.

Active corruption crime
Under the Angolan legal system, active corruption crime is set forth and punishable pursuant to Article 38 LCMLO.

On the one hand, Article 38 (1) LCMLO criminalizes the conduct of each and every person who, by themselves or through an intermediary with the former’s consent or ratification, offer or promise to offer a pecuniary or non-pecuniary advantage to a civil servant or to a third party designated for such purpose, as consideration for the commission of an act or omission contrary to his official duties.

On the other hand, Article 38 (2) LCMLO criminalizes the conduct of each and every person who, by themselves or through an intermediary with the former’s consent or ratification, offer or promise to offer a pecuniary or non-pecuniary advantage to a civil servant or to a third party designated for such purpose, as consideration for the commission of an act or an omission that does not represent a breach of his official duties.

Portugal Small Flag Portugal

Although there are many different bribery offenses, which vary according to the status of the person who receives the bribe, they all share a common root definition, based on the United Nations Convention against Corruption’s definition of bribery.

Bribery is separated into passive and active bribery.

Passive bribery is broadly defined as the promise, offering or giving, to someone, directly or indirectly, of an undue advantage, for that same person or another person or entity, in order that the person in question act or refrain from acting in the exercise of his or her duties.

Active bribery is broadly defined as the solicitation or acceptance by someone, directly or indirectly, of an undue advantage, for that same person or another person or entity, in order that the person in question act or refrain from acting in the exercise of his or her duties.

In the Military Justice Code, in addition to this definition, the bribed party’s act must also endanger national security.

Updated: April 10, 2018