Private remedies for corruption: The corruption conundrum

Private remedies for corruption: The corruption conundrum 12 November 2012

Tackling corruption in a post-global world requires innovating our thinking about how to fight it. The corruption conundrum is the result of the convergence of three unresolved problems in the fight against corruption.

First, is the character of grand scale corruption that the international fight against corruption is ultimately concerned with. Grand scale corruption distorts markets, stunts economic, social and political development and engenders major abuses of power. Its primary actors are governments and multinational corporations.

Second, is the nature of the transacting environment. Grand scale corruption is transnational and occurs in an environment where there is no single identifiable nexus of governance. This environment is cobbled together by agreements, understandings, self-regulation and self-policing.

Third, is the process of criminal sanction by imprisonment and/or by the imposition of a fine. “Lock 'em all up!’ hardly works with the artificial corporation. Neither does a fine have quite the same sting when it can ultimately be passed in the costs of products or services to consumers.

An Innovating Justice blog from Abiola Makinwa, Lecturer at the Hague University of Applied Sciences looks at private remedies for corruption.