The University of Richmond’s Journal of Global Law & Business is proud to announce its annual Corruption Issue. In this series of posts, each co-authored by a UR law student and Professor Andy Spalding, we’ll introduce this year’s articles and invite submissions for next year’s issue.
How can we encourage investment in developing countries while still promoting anti-bribery norms? The U.S. government has attempted to walk a tight rope between preventing U.S. dollars from entering a corrupt system abroad, and allowing US companies to promote American ideals in emerging markets. But consider the case of countries emerging from major political turmoil or natural disasters: the Haitis, the Sudans, the Afghanistans. These places need foreign investment the most, and need companies that will push for increased transparency. But these are also the markets that pose the greatest FCPA risk.
In A New Affirmative Defense for Countries Exiting Major Internal Strife, (available from ssrn here), Chris Rohde explores the possibility of a new affirmative defense. He proposes allowing companies to present the DOJ and SEC with a comprehensive plan that outlines their compliance strategy prior to entering the market. The agencies would review the plan and impose additional requirements. If the company were to adopt those requirements, the enforcement agencies would offer in return a measure of grace in allowing the company to operate in the high-needs, high-risk market.
Rhodes believes that on a case-by-case basis the United States can welcome some of these countries back into the international economic fold. An additional affirmative defense, of the sort Rhode explores, could promote the twin goals of the FCPA: transparency and economic development.
The Richmond Journal of Global Law & Business is now accepting articles for publication in its annual bribery and corruption survey. We prefer mid-length articles (around 12,000 words, with a maximum of 18,000 words, including footnotes). If you would like to submit an article for consideration, or discuss the possibility, please contact Chris Rohde here. Articles will be considered through February 15, 2015.
Eric Postow is a second-year student at the University of Richmond School of Law. He will intern this summer at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Andy Spalding is Senior Editor of the FCPA Blog and Assistant Professor at the University of Richmond School of Law.