Trading in Influence - The Criminal Law Convention on Corruption Art. 12

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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.

Gry Bratvold works as legal counsel in BW Offshore. Before joining BW Offshore in February 2007, she worked in the Oslo and the London office of the Norwegian law firm Wikborg Rein. She has her law degree from the University of Oslo in Norway with a specialization in Maritime Law. She has also spent a residence semester at the Universidad de Granada in Spain.

BW Offshore is a leading global provider of floating production services to the oil and gas industry. The company is the world’s second largest contractor with a fleet of 16 FPSOs and two FSOs. BW Offshore has an excellent track record on project execution and operations and more than 25 years of experience. BW Offshore is represented in the major oil regions world-wide, with presence across Europe, Asia Pacific, West Africa and the Americas. The company is noticeably represented in key locations in the greater Americas region both in the US and the Mexican parts of the Gulf of Mexico, as well as on the Tupi field offshore Brazil. BW Offshore’s FPSO and FSO fleet also operates in Australia, New Zealand and Russia. The company is listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange. BW Offshore is part of the BW Group, one of the world’s largest maritime groups.

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