Which authorities have jurisdiction to investigate and prosecute bribery in your jurisdiction?

Bribery & Corruption (2nd edition)

China Small Flag China

From the criminal law perspective, violations that do not involve state functionaries are investigated by the Public Security Bureau (“PSB”) and transferred to the prosecution department of the People’s Procuratorate (“Procuratorate”) for prosecution. Criminal violations involving state functionaries were previously investigated and prosecuted by the Procuratorate (the anti-corruption department shall be responsible for the investigation, and the prosecution department shall be responsible for the prosecution), whilst the authority for criminal investigation has been transitioned to the Supervisory Commission following the Law on Supervision which took effect on March 20, 2018, with the prosecution still being handled by the Procuratorate.

From the administrative law perspective, violations regarding bribery and corruption are mostly investigated and penalized by the State Administration for Market Regulation (“SAMR”). The SAMR was established on March 21, 2018, which merges and undertakes the responsibilities previously held by the former State Administration for Industry and Commerce (“SAIC”), the former General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (“AQSIQ”), the former China Food and Drug Administration (“CFDA”), and the antitrust enforcement responsibilities of the previous Price Supervision and Antimonopoly Bureau of the National Development and Reform Commission ("NDRC"), the Antimonopoly Bureau of the Ministry of Commerce ("MOFCOM").

Also, in accordance with the Law on Supervision, the administrative violations involving state functionaries shall be investigated by the Supervisory Commission. Other industrial governing authorities such as the China Bank and Insurance Supervision and Administration Committee are empowered with the investigation rights for specific industries, that do not involve state functionaries. Unless the violation is escalated to criminal level upon investigation, it will not involve any further prosecution steps.

France Small Flag France

At the judicial level, the public prosecutor and the investigating judge are competent to investigate and prosecute bribery.

In the past, major bribery cases used to be assigned to investigating judges, given their complexity. However, in February 2014, the French Financial Prosecution Office (the PNF) began operating and has since become the leading judicial authority with regards to anti-bribery. The PNF is indeed competent on the whole French territory with respect to offences such as corruption and influence peddling, when they are of a complex nature.

At the administrative level, the recently created French Anti-Corruption Agency (the AFA) is qualified to carry out controls within companies and public administrations, in order to verify that they have established and implemented efficient compliance programmes in order to prevent bribery (see also 15.).

Germany Small Flag Germany

The public prosecutors’ offices are responsible for the investigation and prosecution of bribery and corruption. They are regularly supported by the criminal police and tax investigators in tax-related cases.

Greece Small Flag Greece

The core investigation authority is the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor and the Special Body of Investigators for acts of corruption (both are provided for in Law 4022/2011). The Anti-Corruption Prosecutor may engage other agencies or Authorities to provide assistance in specific fields or investigations which require special knowledge, such as the Hellenic FIU (Financial Intelligence Unit), the FECU (Financial and Economic Crime Unit), the Financial Police (special department within the Police), the General Inspector of Public Administration, the Hellenic Capital Market Commission etc.

The Anti-Corruption Prosecutor is responsible to collect first evidence on possible acts of corruption and then orders an investigation by the Investigators of Law 4022/2011. The decision to refer cases of corruption to trial is not decided by the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor or the Investigators but – following standard procedure – by a Judicial Council (Three Judges having sessions in camera).

Ireland Small Flag Ireland

The Garda National Economic Crime Bureau is the primary body tasked with investigating bribery and corruption in Ireland. The body tasked with the prosecution of any such bribery or corruption offences is the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution.

The Standards in Public Office Commission (the “Standards Commission”) is responsible for investigation of breaches of the Ethics Act.

Italy Small Flag Italy

Investigations and prosecution of bribery and corruption are carried out by the Public Prosecutor’s Office. In addition, the ANAC has some investigative powers.

Belgium Small Flag Belgium

In Belgium, one has to make a distinction between two types of investigations. On the one hand, those investigations led by the Public Prosecutor and, on the other hand, those led by the Investigating Judge. Both types of investigations can concern the same crimes, such as bribery. The most important difference between the two above-mentioned types of investigations is that certain investigative acts are exclusively reserved for the Investigating Judge (e.g. telephone tapping). In general, the latter thus investigates the more severe cases. Furthermore, the Investigating Judge is obliged to collect both incriminating and exculpatory evidence.

When conducting an investigation, both the Public Prosecutor and the Investigating Judge will be assisted by the police, and in particular by the specialised anti-corruption service of the federal judicial police, namely the Central Anti-Corruption Service (Centrale Dienst ter Bestrijding van Corruptie/Office Central pour la Répression de la Corruption).

Japan Small Flag Japan

Generally, police agencies investigate bribery cases and the public prosecutors’ office prosecutes those cases. The public prosecutors’ office sometimes directly investigates and prosecutes special bribery cases that involve notable people such as members of the Diet.

Kenya Small Flag Kenya

The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) which is established under the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Act, Act No. 22 of 2011 has the jurisdiction to conduct investigations on bribery either on its own volition or upon a complaint made by any person. Following an investigation, EACC is to report to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) on the outcome of its investigations. The report is to include any recommendation that EACC may have that a person be prosecuted for corruption or economic crime.

United States Small Flag United States

The principal federal prosecuting agencies in the US are the United States Department of Justice [DOJ] and the United States Securities and Exchange Commission [SEC]. The DOJ has authority to bring criminal prosecutions while the SEC has authority to bring civil enforcement actions. In cases involving US issuers or their executives, employees or agents, a company or individual may be subject to parallel investigations by the DOJ and SEC. In criminal investigations, the DOJ works in conjunction with an investigating agency, such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation or the Department of Homeland Security.

Mexico Small Flag Mexico

From an administrative legal standpoint, the authorities in charge of investigating bribery cases are the Ministry of Public Administration or the applicable State/local bodies, the Internal Control Bodies, the Supreme Federation Audit’s Office, the relevant prosecutor offices of the States and/or the corresponding Units for Liability of the State Productive Companies.

In case of minor administrative offences, the sanctioning authorities are the Ministry of Public Administration or the applicable State bodies, the Internal Control Bodies, and/or the corresponding Unit for Liability of the State Productive Companies; whereas for those cases involving serious administrative offences or private conducts related thereto, the sanctioning authority shall be the Federal Court of Administrative Justice or the applicable body in each State.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, from a criminal stand point, the authority in charge of investigating bribery will be the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor Office, once the head of such entity is appointed; until then, the authority in charge of investigating bribery is the public prosecutor (Ministerio Público) (“MP”). The authority in charge of sanctioning such conducts is the judicial authority through a Judicial Court (Tribunal de Enjuiciamiento).

Noteworthy to mention, even though the creation of the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor Office was effective on 2015, as of this date, the head of such entity has not yet been appointed, due to the lack of agreement within the Senate, which is in charge of overseeing its appointment. This subject has been one of national debate and controversy lately.

Brazil Small Flag Brazil

A constant conflict that companies who seek to self-disclose face is that fact there are multiple authorities with jurisdiction over the matter.

The sanctions set forth by the Brazilian Clean Company Act can be persecuted by administrative and/or judicial proceedings.

Administrative proceedings shall be carried out by the highest authority within each agency or entity of the Executive, Legislative or Judicial Branches, e.g., the Brazilian Ministry of Transparency and Controller’s General Office (“CGU”) the General Counsel for the Republic (“AGU”), which shall act ex officio or upon request.

Judicial proceedings will result from police investigations and indictments promoted by the Public Prosecutor´s Office, either a federal or state level.

New Zealand Small Flag New Zealand

Bribery and corruption offences will be investigated and prosecuted by either the New Zealand Police (if it is a low level of criminal behaviour) or the Serious Fraud Office (for more serious, complex or high profile matters). The Office of the Ombudsman can also look into complaints about corrupt behaviour. The Office of the Controller and Auditor General will also report any corrupt use of public money to Parliament. The Electoral Office can investigate any allegations relevant to political party or candidate donations.

Denmark Small Flag Denmark

There is no single authority handling bribery cases in Denmark. The State Prosecutor for Serious Economic and International Crime (Statsadvokaten for Særlig Økonomisk og International Kriminalitet, SØIK) handles cases concerning serious economic crime. A case is considered to involve serious economic crime if it is extensive in scope, has been committed as a part of organised crime, has been committed by means of a specific business method, or if it is deemed as particularly severe.

If a case does not meet one of the above criteria or in other words does not involve serious economic crime, the case is handled by the local police.

Romania Small Flag Romania

Generally, crimes related to bribery and corruption are investigated and prosecuted by the prosecutor, as per the Criminal Procedure Code. There are, however, several specialised investigation authorities which have jurisdiction based on material grounds, respectively on personal grounds. For example, the National Anticorruption Directorate (NAD) was set up as a specialised department within the Prosecutor’s Office attached to the High Court of Cassation and Justice (HCCJ), with jurisdiction over the acts sanctioned by the Law no. 78/2000.

Altogether, within the Prosecutor’s Office attached to the HCCJ, starting with October 2018, there was organised a special Division for investigating the crimes within the judicial system, which has jurisdiction over the crimes perpetrated by judges, prosecutors or members of the Supreme Magistracy Council, irrespective of their subject matter, of corruption or not.

Within the Ministry of Internal Affairs there is also a specialised division, which has jurisdiction over the acts sanctioned by the Law no. 78/2000, when perpetrated by the Ministry’s personnel.

Singapore Small Flag Singapore

In Singapore, the main authority which investigates bribery is the Corrupt Practice Investigation Bureau (CPIB). The main authority which prosecutes bribery is the Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC).

Switzerland Small Flag Switzerland

Bribery and corruption are investigated by the Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland (OAG) if they are committed by or against federal authorities, substantially committed abroad or committed in several cantons if there is no unambiguous focus on one canton. In all other cases, the public prosecutor's office (PPO) of the competent canton in Switzerland is responsible for investigating bribery and corruption.

United Kingdom Small Flag United Kingdom

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) is the main prosecutor with the responsibility for enforcing the Bribery Act. Broadly speaking, when determining whether to commence a prosecution (against corporates or individuals), the SFO will consider both the evidential case against the suspect and whether a prosecution would be in the public interest.

Canada Small Flag Canada

Both the CFPOA and the Criminal Code are addressed as police matters, investigated and enforced by Canada’s federal policing authority, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (the “RCMP”). The RCMP will work with their counterparts in other jurisdictions to complete investigations when necessary.

Oversight of prosecutions is in the purview of the Public Prosecution Service of Canada (the “Crown”). The Crown and the police work closely together to determine whether to lay charges- with the police generally laying charges while the Crown decides whether to prosecute.

When deciding whether to initiate and conduct a prosecution on behalf of the federal Crown, Crown counsel must consider two issues:

  1. Is there is a reasonable prospect of conviction based on evidence that is likely to be available at trial? If there is,
  2. Would a prosecution best serve the public interest?

Public Prosecution Service of Canada Deskbook, Part II, s. 2.3.

The Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions is responsible for resolving any disagreement between the policy and prosecutors over the merits of a particular prosecution.

Portugal Small Flag Portugal

Bribery matters are usually pursued by the competent public prosecutor’s office - Department of Investigation and Prosecution DIAP assisted by the police authorities (Judiciary Police or tax authorities). In the end of the line stand the court.

Investigations of corruption can also be led by the Central Department for Criminal Investigation and Action (DCIAP), which is a nationwide prosecutor’s office.

A National Anti-Corruption Unit(2) also takes place, which is a specialized group that conducts preventive actions, prior to any criminal proceedings, in the context of which the police are allowed to collect information related to facts that may reveal that a crime of corruption is being prepared or committed.

(2) - Entitled under Law No. 36/94 of 29 September.

Argentina Small Flag Argentina

The main enforcement authorities are the Public Prosecutor’s Office (Public Ministry of the Prosecution; or “MPF” for its acronym in Spanish), as well as investigative magistrates, in charge of the investigation stage of the criminal procedure, and criminal courts, responsible for adjudication. Besides, both the Prosecutor’s Office of Administrative Investigations (“Procuraduría de Investigaciones Administrativas”, or “PIA”, for its acronym in Spanish) within the MPF, and the Anti-Corruption Office (“Oficina Anticorrupción”, or “OA”, for its acronym in Spanish), an administrative agency within the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights of the Executive Branch, are empowered to investigate and participate in the prosecution of bribery and corruption offenses.

Argentina is a federal country. The federal government co-exists with 24 districts, comprised of 23 provinces and the autonomous city of Buenos Aires. By constitutional design, the provincial governments keep authority over criminal procedure law, so the procedural model varies across the country. Federal offences (including bribery and corruption offenses, among other economic crimes) are subject to federal jurisdiction, whereas criminal investigation is still in charge of an investigative magistrate, who has the power to delegate this task to a prosecutor –an inquisitorial-oriented procedural model. A new Federal Criminal Procedure Code establishing an adversarial model, in which prosecutors investigate under a judge’s control and adjudication, was approved by Congress in 2018. However, its implementation will be gradual –it has recently entered into force in two provinces (Salta, and Jujuy), and will be enforced in the remaining provinces according to a 5-to7-years calendar. In these guidelines, when we refer to criminal procedure law we always refer to federal criminal procedure law.

Angola Small Flag Angola

SIC- Criminal Investigation Service is the authority that has jurisdiction to investigate and prosecute bribery in our jurisdiction.

Updated: July 8, 2019