May 2014 Vol. 112 No. 7 THE REVIEW

Toward Greater Guidance: Reforming the Definitions of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act

Matthew W. Muma

The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977 is the cornerstone of the United States' efforts to combat the involvement of U.S. companies and individuals in corruption abroad. Enforced by both the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") and the Department of Justice ("DOJ"), the Act targets companies and individuals that pay bribes to "foreign officials," a nebulous category of persons that includes everyone from foreign cabinet members to janitors at companies only partially owned by a foreign state. After only sporadic enforcement in the early years of the Act's existence, the SEC and DOJ now bring many cases annually. This increased enforcement has raised the ire of the business community, and many commentators have criticized the government for haphazard enforcement and unclear guidance. The definition of "foreign official," which has always been deliberately broad and vague, has particularly vexed many companies. This Note proposes a creative amendment to the Act to solve this problem, not by changing the definition of "foreign official" but by requiring in-country State Department employees to provide country-specific guidance on who isand who is nota bona fide "foreign official" in a given place.

   //  VIEW PDF
& Other Current Events

A Solution to Michigan's Child Shackling Problem

Detained children routinely appear before Michigan's juvenile courts shackled with handcuffs, leg irons,...

Judicial Diversity After Shelby County v. Holder

In 2014, voters in ten of the fifteen states previously covered by the Voting Rights Act ("VRA") preclearance...

Fall Submission Season

MLR’s Articles Office will open its fall submission season on Monday, August 18!  The Articles...

The Ninth Circuit's Treatment of Sexual Orientation: Defining “Rational Basis Review with Bite”

On February 10, Nevada's Democratic attorney general decided to stop defending the state's constitutional...

Inhibiting Intrastate Inequalities: A Congressional Approach to Ensuring Equal Opportunity to Finance Public Education

The United States has exhibited a strong commitment to public education throughout its history. The local...
MAILING LIST
Sign Up to Join Our Mailing List