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Grand corruption and the deterrent role of civil societies

October 28, 2017

Writer says with its serious and often global effects, combatting grand corruption must be the responsibility of the international community as well.

FMT LETTERS

corruption-1By Hakimi Abdul Jabar

Grand corruption is the abuse of high-level power that benefits the few at the expense of the many and causes serious and widespread harm to individuals and society. It often goes unpunished.

Domestic authorities are often unable or unwilling to bring the grand corrupt to justice. In these cases, the international community has an obligation to act, collectively and through action by individual states.

Grand corruption is a crime that violates human rights and deserves adjudication and punishment accordingly. This ranges from stealing from public budgets used to build hospitals and schools, to constructing dangerous facilities as the result of underfunding caused by corrupt actors.

It is one of the great unresolved legal challenges of our day.

With its serious and often global effects, combatting grand corruption must be the responsibility of the international community.

This is because grand corruption is a major obstacle to the achievement of sustainable development. It also undermines and distorts sound financial practice and clean business, both domestically and internationally.

Furthermore, grand corruption deepens poverty, inequality and also increases exclusion.

On a wider scale, grand corruption results in violations of human rights, and such a link is recognised by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Grand corruption used to carry on unseen, with little publicity. Today, thanks to new possibilities opened up by globalisation, global communications and investigative reporting, the enablers of grand corruption are in the headlines every day.

So too, is the inability of current laws to tackle this trans-national network of thievery and worse.

This needs to change. People have had enough. There should be no impunity for the corrupt.

Civil parties have major roles in criminal procedures under a grand corruption statute. In such legal systems, anti-corruption NGOs can take part in criminal procedures and represent a broad range of victims.

Hakimi Abdul Jabar is an advocate and solicitor.

The views expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of FMT.


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