Trading in Influence - The Criminal Law Convention on Corruption Art. 12
Gry Bratvold, Legal Counsel, BW Offshore Norway AS, Norway
In January 1999, the Council of Europe proposed the Criminal Law Convention on Corruption (the CLCC Convention). The vast majority of the member states signed the convention, but several states chose to reserve their right not to establish certain forms of trading in influence as a criminal offence. There seems to be consensus that certain behavior that fall within the term trading in influence is harmful and undesired in our society. In this article I will seek to answer why some states nevertheless chose to take reservations towards establishing this as a criminal offence.
Although trading in influence, or influence peddling as it sometimes is called, was a term used also before the CLCC Convention, the content of the term has not been entirely clear. In this article, I will look at what trading in influence means under the CLCC Convention and in some of the members states’ legislation, primarily focusing on Norway. Furthermore, I will look at how trading in influence differs from “ordinary” or “traditional” corruption on the one hand, and on the other hand, how it is different from lobbyism and the political work of organisations, NGO’s and others who fight to have their voices heard by the public officials and governmental decision makers.
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