Internet Newsletter for Lawyers
The National Criminal Intelligence Service (NCIS) is the body which is responsible for dealing with suspicious transaction reports ("STR's") submitted by those who fall within the statutory framework. In July 2003, the accounting firm KPMG produced a report which provides a very detailed analysis of the practical operation of anti-money laundering legislation (www.ncis.gov.uk/kpmgsarreport.asp or locate the report via the main site www.ncis.gov.uk). The NCIS web site also contains very useful information and guides as to the operation of the legislation and the workings of NCIS. Some of the guides are particularly directed towards legal professionals to take account of very recent case law (such as the family law case of P v. P, October 2003).
There are various initiatives taking place at the international level to deal with money laundering, especially in the aftermath of the events in the USA on 11th September 2001. The lead agency is the Financial Action Task Force ("FATF") set up by the OECD. This has produced 44 recommendations for States to incorporate into their domestic legal frameworks, so as to tackle money laundering and terrorist finance more effectively (you can find these on the main OECD site, at www.oecd.org).
There is also a very comprehensive web site, the International Money Laundering Information Network (www.imolin.org) which provides extensive international resources in this area as well as links to other key sources of information.
A Joint Parliamentary Committee published a report in July 2003 which provides an excellent analysis of the present and proposed UK law relating to corruption, together with suggested amendments to the Bill (www.parliament.uk).
The core rationale for the law is clear, namely to prevent corruption from enabling a public official to abuse his or her position, and to prevent a party from using corruption to obtain an advantage.
The law in this area is aimed at essentially two types of activities which are engaged in intentionally:
Some of the difficulties with the existing legislation include the absence of any statutory definition of corruption, as well as the fact that the existing legislation is in certain respects obscure and complex. Given that corruption is difficult to prove in most cases (because the parties tend to cover their tracks) clarity in the legal framework is vital. The draft Corruption Bill is intended to comply with existing international conventions produced by the Council of Europe in 1999 (see the Report).
In December 2003, the UN Draft Convention on Corruption was made available to all UN member states for signature (this can be found in pdf form on the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime site at www.unodc.org). The Convention is intended to provide a comprehensive legal framework to harmonise the domestic laws of UN member states, and to fill some of the gaps that have been found to hamper the fight against corruption.
Indeed, in the context of corruption, State laws and practice vary enormously. Some of the key anomalies include;
The Convention itself recognises that some States will not have the infrastructure or technical expertise to properly give effect to the Convention. The UN intends to provide them with focussed technical expertise to help them in the implementation process.
Khawar Qureshi practices mainly in Commercial and International Law at Serle Court
Chambers. He is an "A" Panel Treasury Counsel and was Counsel for the Home
Secretary in the "Abacha" corruption/MLA case. He was appointed a Special Adviser to
the UNODC on financial crime matters in August 2003, and gave an expert legal opinion
to the Joint Parliamentary Committee considering the UK Draft Corruption Bill.
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