The OECD is criticizing Canada of non-prosecution of Canadian nationals bribing foreign officials while outside of Canada, the CBC is reporting.
The OECD report recommends that Canada:
- Amend its CFPOA legislation so it applies to bribery related to all international business, not just business “for profit.”
- Ensure that sanctions for violations are proportionate and effective.
- Do whatever is needed to prosecute Canadian nationals for overseas bribes of foreign public officials.
- Ensure that police and prosecutors know that Canada’s relationship with a foreign state must not affect decisions on whether to prosecute.
This is an absolute travesty. The Canadian government has no jurisdiction outside of Canada, and what Canadians do outside of Canada is none of the Canadian governments concern when it comes to prosecution.
This all harkens back to the same point I made a while back in 2 places: On Sovereignty and States (Wikileaks and Child Sex Tourism) and This is Not the United States of Planet Earth.
It is the job of the state where the bribe takes place to prosecute the offense.
In many places in the world, corruption acts as a kind of grease to lubricate the system and keep things moving. Sure it’s a bad way of doing things, but it is NOT the job of other countries to pass moral judgement on other cultures for non-violent ways of doing things. And it is most certainly not the place of the OECD to judge.
Flat out – the OECD is wrong. Morally, ethically, and legally. Canada should do exactly nothing to prosecute Canadians for what they do overseas. Leave prosecutions to the jurisdiction where the offense takes place.