What is the legal position in Ireland?
The law on corruption in Ireland was strengthened following the enactment of the Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Act, 2001, which gave effect in domestic law to the OECD Convention on Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions, and two other Conventions, concerning corruption in criminal law, and corruption involving officials of the European Communities and officials of the EU member states. There are strong penalties in place, of up to 10 years imprisonment and an unlimited fine, for those found guilty of offences under the Act, including convictions of bribery of foreign public officials by Irish nationals and companies. Under section 23 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2005, the Criminal Assets Bureau has power to seize a suspected bribe, and that Act also contains provisions relating to forfeiture of the bribe.
The Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Act 2010 came into force in December 2010, This measure amends the Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Act 2001, and gives fuller effect to certain provisions of the OECD Anti-bribery Convention. The Act broadens the legislation on corruption, in particular in relation to corruption occurring outside the State, and jurisdiction in this regard has been extended to virtually all persons, including companies, having a connection with the State.
A key provision in the Act is the protection afforded to whistleblowers who make reports, in good faith, of offences under the Corruption Acts, 1889 to 2010. The Act also provides that reports of suspected offences can be made on a confidential basis to "a confidential recipient". In relation to suspected corruption offences abroad, the Act contains provisions enabling reports to be made to diplomatic or consular officers and foreign police forces.