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Judge Wolf wants an international anti-corruption court

Mark L. Wolf, a federal judge in Massachusetts, says public corruption at the highest levels of government in many nations threatens global stability.

Judge Wolf, pictured, made the case for an international anti-corruption court at the 2014 World Forum on Governance, hosted by the Brookings Institute and Czech nonprofit Zaostřeno.

Here’s an excerpt from his report — The Case for an International Anti-Corruption Court:

Public corruption is endemic at the highest levels of government in many nations. Such “grand corruption” is costly, is closely correlated with the most serious abuses of human rights, and threatens the stability of many nations and the world. Grand corruption depends on a culture of impunity that exists because of the unwillingness of leaders to permit the honest and able investigation of their friends, families, and, indeed, themselves.

International efforts to combat grand corruption have been inadequate and ineffective. Similar circumstances concerning genocide and other egregious abuses of human rights led to the creation of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in 2002. 

An International Anti-Corruption Court (IACC), similar to the ICC or as part of it, should now be established to provide a forum for the criminal enforcement of the laws prohibiting grand corruption that exist in virtually every country, and the undertakings that are requirements of various treaties and international organizations. 

Staffed by elite investigators and prosecutors as well as impartial judges, an IACC would have the potential to erode the widespread culture of impunity, contribute to creating conditions conducive to the democratic election of honest officials in countries which have long histories of grand corruption, and honor the courageous efforts of the many people, particularly young people, who are increasingly exposing and opposing corruption at great personal peril.

Judge Wolf’s full report is here.


Julie DiMauro is the executive editor of FCPA Blog and can be reached here.

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