Resources: Corruption

Corruption takes many different forms, from the routine cases of bribery or petty abuse of power to the amassing of spectacular personal wealth through embezzlement or other dishonest means. Bribery enables multinationals to gain contracts (particularly for public works and military equipment) or concessions that they would not otherwise have won, or to do so on more favourable terms.

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UK's Crown Prosecution Service accused of failing to freeze corruptly obtained assets

7 November 2014

The High Court has lifted a secrecy order imposed on a 2013 legal challenge by The Corner House of a decision by the Crown Prosecution Service not to freeze some $215 million in alleged proceeds of crime from a corrupt Nigerian oil deal.

BBC Newsnight reports
Peter Marshall, Newsnight

7 July 2014

BBC’s flagship news programme, Newsnight, ran a 10-minute segment on allegations that Britain’s Department of International Development (DfID), through its wholly-owned private equity fund of funds CDC Group, invested in money-laundering fronts for James Ibori, the ex-governor of Nigeria’ oil-rich Delta State, who has been serving a prison sentence in the UK since 2012.

Complaint submitted to UK Parliamentary Ombudsman

8 May 2012

Nigerian anti-corruption whistleblower Dotun Oloko today accused  Britain’s Department of International Development (DfID) and its private sector arm, the CDC Group, of jeopardising criminal investigations into potential wrongdoing by two CDC-backed private equity funds, Emerging Capital Partners and Ethos.

In 2009, Mr Oloko supplied DfID with detailed information on investments by the two funds in companies alleged to have acted as money laundering fronts for James Ibori, the former Nigerian state governor who was sentenced last month for money laundering and fraud.

16 April 2012

Campaigners slam government’s development approach as DfID-backed private equity fund comes under criminal investigation in Nigeria

The Corner House

12 May 2011

Those found guilty in the UK of financial crimes in developing countries should be required by the court to make reparations, which are more than simply financial payments.

7 January 2011

Campaign Against Arms Trade and The Corner House are challenging the blanket immunity from prosecution given by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) to BAE Systems as part of its February 2010 plea bargain settlement with the company.

21 December 2010

Mr Justice Bean pulled apart the “loosely and perhaps hastily drafted” settlement agreement reached between BAE Systems and the UK's Serious Fraud Office (SFO) in February 2010.  He sentenced the company for concealing that it was making payments to a Tanzania-based agent "with the intention that he should have free rein to make such payments to such people as he thought fit to secure the radar contract” for BAE from the government of Tanzania.

International Development Committee inquiry
The Corner House and Jubilee Debt

23 November 2010

This submission makes detailed comparisons between CDC (the Development Finance Institution [DFI] wholly owned by the UK’s Department for International Development [DfID]) and the DFIs of Germany, Sweden, The Netherlands, European Union and the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC).

Sentencing at Crown Court on 20 December 2010

23 November 2010

Arms company BAE Systems today pleaded guilty at the City of Westminster magistrates court in London to minor charges of false accounting relating to its controversial sale of military radar equipment to Tanzania in 1999. The sale has been surrounded by allegations of corruption.

as Serious Fraud Office brings plea bargain settlement to court

22 November 2010

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) is going to Court on Tuesday 23 November (at the City of Westminster Magistrates Court in London) to seek approval of its plea bargain settlement made with BAE Systems in February this year over the company’s sale of a military radar system to Tanzania in 1999. (At this preliminary hearing, a date will be set for a final hearing in 2011.)

ECGD destroyed records that would confirm one way or the other

5 November 2010

Under the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, commercial confidentiality cannot be used by corporations as a reason for refusing to supply the names of their agents when requested by competent authorities. This ruling by the UK government was issued in November 2010, six years after The Corner House first submitted a Complaint against BAE, Rolls Royce and Airbus.

Memorandum on CDC
The Corner House and Dotun Oloko

13 September 2010

This submission to a UK Parliamentary Inquiry into the Department for International Development (DfID) focuses on the support given by a DfID owned fund management business, CDC, to private equity funds and concerns over alleged corruption in several investments made by CDC-backed funds in Nigeria.

Memorandum to Secretary of State for International Development

28 June 2010

This Memorandum raises questions about the due diligence conducted by CDC, a company owned by the UK Government, in its dealings with two private equity firms that have invested in Nigerian companies. These companies are reported to be “fronts” for the alleged laundering of money said to have been obtained corruptly by the former Governor of Nigeria’s oil rich Delta State.

BBC Radio 'File on 4'

25 May 2010

A BBC radio programme asks whether the plea bargaining strategy adopted by the UK's Serious Fraud Office (SFO) in the past two years "to punish firms who use bribery and corruption to win contracts abroad" is working. It queries several aspects of the SFO's proposed settlement with BAE Systems, including an agreement that appears to give immunity from prosecution to any individual who might have committed wrong-doing in those affairs.

but withdraw legal challange
The Corner House and Campaign Against Arms Trade

8 April 2010

Campaign Against Arms Trade and The Corner House withdrew their application for a judicial review of the 5 February 2010 decision by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) to enter a controversial plea bargain settlement with BAE Systems and to drop "conspiracy to corrupt" charges against a BAE former agent. They concluded they were unable to appeal against the 22 March 2010 refusal by a High Court judge to grant permission to bring the legal challenge. Nonetheless, both CAAT and The Corner House will continue to raise questions about the settlement and the process leading up to it.

The Corner House and Campaign Against Arms Trade

24 March 2010

A High Court judge, the Honourable Mr Justice Collins, refused to grant permission to Campaign Against Arms Trade and The Corner House to bring a full judicial review hearing against the decision by the UK Serious Fraud Office to make a controversial plea bargain settlement with BAE Systems.

to apply for Judicial Review of SFO-BAE-Tanzania settlement
Honourable Mr Justice Collins

22 March 2010

On 22 March 2010, a High Court judge, the Honourable Mr Justice Collins, refused to grant permission to Campaign Against Arms Trade and The Corner House to bring a judicial review of the Serious Fraud Office February decision to make a plea bargain settlement with BAE Systems and to drop "conspiracy to corrupt" charges against a BAE former agent.

Serious Fraud Office and BAE Systems

12 March 2010

After CAAT and The Corner House had submitted their application on 26 February 2010 for a judicial review of the Serious Fraud Office decision to make a plea bargain settlement with BAE Systems and to drop "conspiracy to corrupt" charges against a BAE former agent, the Director of the Serious Fraud Office and BAE Systems submitted their versions of the facts and legal grounds to contest the application, arguing that permission to bring the review should not be given.

BBC Radio 4 "Law in Action"

9 March 2010

A BBC Radio 4 programme Law in Action examined what difference proposed reforms of the UK’s anti-bribery laws would make and recent cases, such as the Serious Fraud Office's settlement with BAE Systems.

The Corner House and Campaign Against Arms Trade

1 March 2010

The High Court granted an injunction prohibiting the Director of the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) from taking any further steps in its February 2010 plea bargain settlement with BAE Systems. The injunction is in force until the Court decides whether or not to give permission to Campaign Against Arms Trade and The Corner House to apply for a judicial review of the settlement.

PRESS RELEASE

Judicial review papers lodged
The Corner House and CAAT

26 February 2010

Lawyers acting for Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) and The Corner House lodged papers on 26 February 2010 at the High Court in London asking for an injunction to delay the UK's Serious Fraud Office (SFO) from seeking court approval for its controversial plea bargain settlement with BAE Systems pending the outcome of a Judicial Review. They lodged papers requesting the Judicial Review at the same time.

against UK Serious Fraud Office's BAE settlement
CAAT and The Corner House

12 February 2010

Lawyers acting on behalf of Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) and The Corner House issued a letter to the Director of the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) laying out their intention to request a judicial review of the 5 February 2010 decision by the SFO to enter a plea agreement with BAE. The basis for the legal challenge is that the SFO failed properly to apply prosecution guidance (including its own guidance). In particular, the plea agreement reached fails to reflect the seriousness and extent of BAE's alleged offending, which includes corruption and bribery, and to provide the court with adequate sentencing powers.

Denial of justice say NGOs
CAAT and The Corner House

5 February 2010

Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) and The Corner House expressed disappointment, anger and outrage at the announcement of a settlement between the UK's Serious Fraud Office (SFO) and BAE Systems of the long-running investigations into alleged bribery and corruption in BAE's arms deals in several African and European countries.

CAAT and The Corner House

1 October 2009

1 October 2009: Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) and The Corner House welcomed the decision of the Director of the UK's Serious Fraud Office (SFO) to begin prosecution proceedings against BAE Systems for "offences relating to overseas corruption". The SFO has been investigating the business activities of BAE Systems in African and Eastern European countries.

Joint Committee

28 July 2009

In March 2009, the UK government published a Draft Bribery Bill, which a Joint Committee comprising members of both Houses of Parliament scrutinised in May and June, taking oral and written evidence from a wide range of individuals and organisations, including The Corner House. The Committee's final report, published on 28 July 2009, "strongly support[s]" the draft Bribery Bill. "It represents an important, indeed overdue, step in reforming the United Kingdom's bribery laws, which have been a source of criticism at home and abroad for more than thirty years."

Memoranda to the Joint Committee on Human Rights
The Corner House

30 June 2009

The Joint Committee on Human Rights of the UK Parliament requested evidence for its inquiry into business and human rights on the State's duty to protect against human rights abuses by businesses; corporate responsibility to respect human rights; and the need for individuals to have effective access to remedies when their human rights are breached. The Corner House submission to the Committee focused on the policies and practices of the UK Export Credits Guarantee Department (ECGD) in the context of the state's duty to protect human rights. The Committee subsequently called for supplementary evidence on the government's Draft Bribery Bill and the Industry and Exports (Financial Support) Bill, which The Corner House provided.

Memoranda to Joint Committee scrutinising the Bill
The Corner House

25 June 2009

On 25 March 2009, the UK Ministry of Justice published its long-awaited Draft Bribery Bill, the stated aim of which is "to reform the criminal law to provide a new, modern and comprehensive scheme of bribery offences that will enable courts and prosecutors to respond more effectively to bribery at home or abroad". The Corner House was requested by the Joint Parliamentary Committee scrutinising the Bill to submit evidence on the proposed new offence of bribing foreign public officials.

Cowboys and Choirboys United
Larry Lohmann

8 June 2009

Not all markets can be regulated effectively. Two examples are the markets for advanced credit derivatives – largely responsible for the current economic crisis -- and the growing carbon markets that are claimed to be capable of addressing global warming and that are the particular subject of this draft chapter. The attempt to regulate such markets does little more than create an illusion of governance where none actually exists. That only allows the dangers to grow larger.


Cuando la regulación se convierte en corrupción: El caso de los mercados de compensación de carbono

No todos los mercados se pueden regular con eficacia. Un ejemplo son los mercados de derivados de crédito que son una de las causas de la crisis financiera. Otro ejemplo son los mercados de carbono que constituyen la "solución" al calentamiento global, favorecida por la mayoría de los gobiernos del mundo. El intento de regular estos mercados no hace más que crear una ilusión de una gobernabilidad que en realidad no existe. Esta ilusión sólo permite que los peligros crezcan más.

Peter Marshall, Newsnight

29 May 2009

BBC2 Television's Newsnight current affairs programme summarised its 8 minute broadcast: "In 2006, the British government scotched a serious fraud investigation into BAE's biggest deal, with Saudi Arabia. Now, Peter Marshall [Newsnight presenter] reveals that the company may have returned the favour. It has stopped a billion pound insurance contract which tied the government to the Saudi business." Information about stopping the insurance contract came to light as a result of legal correspondence between The Corner House and Campaign Against Arms Trade with the UK Export Credits Guarantee Department.

The Corner House and Campaign Against Arms Trade

29 May 2009

BAE Systems, the UK's largest arms company, has cancelled all its public insurance for its controversial arms sales to Saudi Arabia. The company's decision came to light as a result of legal correspondence between The Corner House/Campaign Against Arms Trade with the UK Export Credits Guarantee Department (ECGD) and subsequent parliamentary questions tabled by Vince Cable MP. By cancelling its insurance, BAE has let the ECGD off the hook from possible legal action over its support for the Saudi deals.

Frontline

7 April 2009

The US public television's flagship public affairs programme, Frontline, produced a 60-minute documentary on "black money" -- the secret payments that make up the shadowy world of international bribery. It reveals how multinational companies create slush funds and set up front companies to obtain business and contracts. In describing the crackdown on these practices, the documentary focuses on BAE Systems and allegations about its billion dollar bribes. It includes an interview with former Serious Fraud Office (SFO) Director Robert Wardle, who describes as "blackmail" the Saudi threat to withdraw intelligence cooperation with the UK if the SFO's BAE-Saudi investigation continued.

following up OECD Phase2bis report
solicitors Leigh Day & Co, and Export Credits Guarantee Department

30 March 2009

This exchange of letters between the UK's export credit agency and lawyers acting for The Corner House and Campaign Against Arms Trade revealed that BAE Systems had cancelled all its public insurance for its arms sales to Saudi Arabia with effect from 1 September 2008. These sales have been underwritten by the agency for more than two decades and accounted for half its portfolio.

Insights from 'the BAE case'
Sarah Sexton and Nicholas Hildyard

1 November 2008

This presentation at the 13th International Anti-Corruption Conference highlights the contrast between the UK government's stated commitments to tackling bribery and corruption and its actions in practice. Far from having a "lack of political will", it is argued that the government has immense political will to protect powerful companies from prosecution for bribery, and has thereby created a hostile political environment for fraud investigators and prosecutors.

Campaign Against Arms Trade and The Corner House

17 October 2008

On 17 October 2008, the OECD's Working Group on Bribery issued a report, which holds that the UK authorities did breach their obligations under the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention when the Serious Fraud Office cancelled its investigation into arms deals between BAE Systems and Saudi Arabia in December 2006. The Corner House and the Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) issued this press release of the report, which vindicates their judicial review of the decision.

Lack of checks and balances when criminal prosecutions halted on national security grounds
The Corner House

31 July 2008

The Corner House issued this response to the report by the Joint Committee of the UK Parliament scrutinising the draft Constitutional Renewal Bill.

The Corner House and CAAT

30 July 2008

The Corner House and CAAT issued this press release after the House of Lords (the UK's highest court) overturned the High Court's ruling of April 2008 that the Director of the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) had acted unlawfully when he terminated a corruption investigation into BAE Systems' arms deals with Saudi Arabia. The law lords judgment confirms that the UK is in flagrant breach of its duty to implement and give force to the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention.

In BAE-SFO-Saudi judicial review
Lord Bingham, Lord Hoffmann, Lord Rodger, Baroness Hale and Lord Brown

30 July 2008

On 30 July 2008, five Law Lords overturned the High Court's ruling of April 2008 when they stated that the SFO Director had acted lawfully in stopping a corruption investigation into BAE Systems' arms deals with Saudi Arabia when faced with a threat to national security. They stated that the Director's discretion to drop criminal proceedings extended legally to taking account of the threat uttered by Saudi Arabia that it would withdraw diplomatic and intelligence cooperation with the UK if the investigation continued, even though the threat was "ugly and obviously unwelcome".

in response to Law Lords' judgments in BAE-Saudi appeal
The Corner House and Campaign Against Arms Trade

30 July 2008

This statement was issued in response to the House of Lords overturning the judgment of the High Court that the Director of the Serious Fraud Office acted legally in terminating the SFO's investigation into alleged corruption by BAE Systems in its dealings in Saudi Arabia.

JUSTICE

4 July 2008

This is a submission to the House of Lords in response to an appeal by the Director of the Serious Fraud Office from the independent human rights and law reform organisation, JUSTICE, which is the British section of the International Commission of Jurists. The submission addresses the domestic legal principles by which the legality of a prosecutor's decision to halt a criminal investigation in response to a threat should be assessed, and the relevant international obligations at issue, the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention.

in House of Lords
Serious Fraud Office

26 June 2008

This is the Printed Case appeal to the House of Lords by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) against a High Court ruling on 10 April 2008 that the SFO acted unlawfully in December 2006 when it stopped its investigation into alleged corruption by BAE Systems in recent arms deals with Saudi Arabia.

Ann Feltham

23 June 2008

This second witness statement from Campaign Against Arms Trade updates the House of Lords on official investigations by the US and Swiss authorities into alleged bribery and corruption by BAE Systems in relation to the Al-Yamamah military aircraft contracts.

Sarah Sexton

18 June 2008

The Woolf Report entitled Ethical business conduct in BAE Systems plc -- the way forward was published on 6 May 2008. This presentation explores how BAE has used the report from a critical public relations perspective. 

The Corner House

12 June 2008

This Corner House submission to a parliamentary committee scrutinising the draft Constitutional Renewal Bill argues that the proposed legislation does not sufficiently protect the independence of prosecutors and creates a grave risk of abuse by the Government of national security arguments.

on the 'constitutionality' of draft Constitutional Renewal Bill
Jeffrey Jowell QC

12 June 2008

This 'legal opinion' from a top UK constitutional lawyer concludes that a clause in the draft Constitutional Renewal Bill (published 25 March 2008) effectively preventing judicial review of a decision to halt a prosecution or fraud investigation on the grounds of national security violates a fundamental UK constitutional principle of the rule of law, and could be challenged under the Human Rights Act.

by Robert Wardle, former Director, Serious Fraud Office
Robert Wardle

9 June 2008

This third witness statement from Robert Wardle, the former Director of the Serious Fraud Office, was submitted by the Serious Fraud Office in its appeal in the House of Lords.

by Helen Garlick, Assistant Director, Serious Fraud Office
Helen Garlick

9 June 2008

This second witness statement from the the Serious Fraud Office's Assistant Director was submitted by the Serious Fraud Office for its House of Lords appeal.

by Dr John Jenkins, Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Dr John Jenkins, FCO

9 June 2008

A witness statement from Dr John Jenkins of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, presented by the Serious Fraud Office during its appeal in the House of Lords. 

in House of Lords Appeal
The Corner House and Campaign Against Arms Trade

4 June 2008

This submission from The Corner House and CAAT lawyers to the House of Lords in response to an appeal by the Director of the Serious Fraud Office focuses on two principles of law: the Rule of Law; and compliance with the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention.

The Corner House and CAAT

24 April 2008

On 24 April 2008, the UK High Court formally quashed the Serious Fraud Office's (SFO) decision to drop its corruption investigation into arms deals between BAE Systems and Saudi Arabia. It also gave the SFO permission to appeal to the House of Lords against its 10th April 2008 ruling that the SFO's termination of the investigation was unlawful.

of judgment on Corner House and CAAT v. Director of the Serious Fraud Office and BAE Systems PLC
Lord Justice Moses and Mr Justice Sullivan

10 April 2008

On 10 April 2008, Lord Justice Moses and Mr Justice Sullivan ruled that the decision of the Director of the Serious Fraud Office to drop an investigation into alleged bribes by BAE Systems in Saudi Arabia was unlawful. As the judgment is long -- on the judges' own admission -- they prepared a summary of the first part of their ruling.

The Corner House and Campaign Against Arms Trade

10 April 2008

The Corner House and Campaign Against Arms Trade issued this press release after the High Court ruled, in response to a judicial review brought by both groups, that the Director of the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) had acted unlawfully when he stopped a corruption investigation into BAE Systems' arms deals with Saudi Arabia.

Financial Times, The Guardian, The Independent, The Times, The Observer, Daily Telegraph

10 April 2008

Media coverage was extensive following the ruling by Lord Justice Moses and Mr Justice Sullivan on 10 April 2008 that the decision of the Director of the Serious Fraud Office to drop an investigation into alleged bribes by BAE Systems in Saudi Arabia was unlawful. This is a selection of some leading articles from UK newspapers from 10-17 April 2008.

in response to CAAT/The Corner House request for judicial review
Lord Justice Moses and Mr Justice Sullivan

10 April 2008

On 10 April 2008, Lord Justice Moses and Mr Justice Sullivan ruled that the decision of the Director of the Serious Fraud Office to drop an investigation into alleged bribes by BAE Systems in Saudi Arabia was unlawful. This is their 42-page judgment.

Campaign Against Arms Trade and The Corner House

10 April 2008

The Corner House and Campaign Against Arms Trade held a press conference at the offices of the groups' solicitors, Leigh Day & Co, following the High Court ruling in response to the judicial review brought by both groups. This statement was read out at the press conference.

the judgement on Corner House and CAAT v. Director of the Serious Fraud Office and BAE Systems PLC
Dr Susan Hawley

10 April 2008

On 10 April 2008, Lord Justice Moses and Mr Justice Sullivan ruled that the decision of the Director of the Serious Fraud Office to drop an investigation into alleged bribes by BAE Systems in Saudi Arabia was unlawful. This is a summary and analysis of that judgment prepared by The Corner House.

The Corner House and Campaign Against Arms Trade

4 April 2008

Even before the judgement has been given on the landmark judicial review of the decision by the UK's Serious Fraud Office to halt its BAE-Saudi Arabia corruption investigation, the UK Government has introduced draft legislation whose effect would be to prevent in future such a judicial review -- and even such an investigation. The Corner House and CAAT are calling upon the public and parliamentarians to voice their concerns about the draft Constitutional Renewal Bill.

Dinah Rose QC, Ben Jaffey, Richard Stein and Jamie Beagent

31 March 2008

The UK Government's draft Constitutional Renewal Bill proposes to create a new power for a political appointee and member of the Government, the Attorney General, to stop a criminal investigation or prosecution on the grounds of 'national security' without explanation or accountability to Parliament, the Courts or international bodies.

The Corner House

31 March 2008

This Corner House submission to the Law Commission's public consultation on reforming the UK's antiquated corruption laws looks at corporate liability and at the role of the Attorney General in halting prosecutions of corruption offences where national security concerns have been raised.

Proceedings of second day of judicial review
court proceedings

15 February 2008

On 14-15th February 2008, the High Court heard a judicial review of the Serious Fraud Office's decision in December 2006 to terminate its investigation into alleged corruption by BAE Systems in recent arms deals with Saudi Arabia. This document is a transcript of the court proceedings of the second day, 15 February 2008, on which lawyers for the Serious Fraud Office continued their defence.

Proceedings of first day of judicial review
court proceedings

14 February 2008

On 14-15th February 2008, the High Court heard a judicial review of the Serious Fraud Office's decision in December 2006 to terminate its investigation into alleged corruption by BAE Systems in recent arms deals with Saudi Arabia. This document is a transcript of the court proceedings of the first day, 14 February 2008, on which lawyers representing The Corner House and Campaign Against Arms Trade presented their arguments, and lawyers for the Serious Fraud Office began their defence.

CAAT and The Corner House

14 February 2008

This press release highlights the documents released in the High Court on 14 February 2008 revealing that Britain's biggest arms company, BAE Systems, wrote to the Attorney General on a "strictly private and confidential" basis urging him to halt the Serious Fraud Office investigation into allegations that BAE had bribed Saudi officials to secure the Al Yamamah arms deal.

various

14 February 2008

Documents released in the High Court on 14 February 2008 reveal that BAE Systems wrote to the Attorney General on a "strictly private and confidential" basis urging him to halt the Serious Fraud Office investigation into allegations that BAE had bribed Saudi Arabian officials to secure the Al Yamamah arms deal. The company argued that the investigation should be dropped on commercial and diplomatic grounds.

Of Serious Fraud Office decision to stop BAE-Saudi corruption inquiry
The Corner House and CAAT

8 February 2008

On 14th February 2008, the High Court will hear the judicial review of the Serious Fraud Office's decision to terminate its investigation into alleged corruption by BAE Systems in recent arms deals with Saudi Arabia.

For Judicial Review hearing 14-15 February 2008
lawyers on behalf of The Corner House and CAAT

4 February 2008

On 14 February 2008 in the High Court, lawyers for The Corner House and Campaign Against Arms Trade presented this outline (or 'skeleton') of their arguments as to why the decision in December 2006 by the Director of the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) to discontinue the SFO investigation into alleged corruption by BAE Systems in recent Al Yamamah arms deals with Saudi Arabia was unlawful. 

Robert Wardle, Director of Serious Fraud Office

31 January 2008

A second witness statement from the Director of the Serious Fraud (SFO), Robert Wardle, was released in the High Court on Thursday 14 February 2008 during the judicial review hearing brought by Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) and The Corner House into his decision to terminate the SFO's BAE-Saudi investigation.

31 January 2008

A witness statement from the Assistant Director of the Serious Fraud (SFO), Helen Garlick, was released in the High Court on Thursday 14 February 2008 (although dated 31 January) during the judicial review hearing brought by Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) and The Corner House into the SFO Director's decision to terminate the SFO's BAE-Saudi investigation.

Lord Justice Moses

17 January 2008

On 17 January 2008, Lord Justice Moses finalised the grounds on which The Corner House and Campaign Against Arms Trade could bring its judicial review, the disclosure of documents from the Director of the Serious Fraud Office, and the costs to be paid by both parties.

The Corner House and CAAT

21 December 2007

Documents released in the UK High Court indicate that the Serious Fraud Office investigation into BAE's Saudi arms deals was dropped only after the then Prime Minister Tony Blair sent a personal minute to the Attorney General Lord Goldsmith. They show that Goldsmith did not believe that the case should be dropped in response to alleged Saudi threats to withdraw intelligence and security co-operation.

various

21 December 2007

Documents released in the High Court on Friday 21 December 2007 indicate that the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) investigation into BAE's Saudi arms deals was dropped only after the then Prime Minister Tony Blair sent a personal minute to the Attorney General Lord Goldsmith.

Robert Wardle, Director of Serious Fraud Office

17 December 2007

A witness statement from the Director of the Serious Fraud (SFO), Robert Wardle, indicates that he repeatedly rejected requests to terminate the Serious Fraud investigation into alleged corruption by BAE Systems in recent arms deals with Saudi Arabia.

Campaign Against Arms Trade and The Corner House

9 November 2007

On Friday 9 November 2007, two High Court judges granted permission to Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) and The Corner House to bring a full judicial review hearing against the UK Government's decision in December 2006 to cut short a Serious Fraud Office (SFO) investigation into alleged corruption by BAE Systems in recent arms deals with Saudi Arabia.

Mr Justice Moses and Mr Justice Irwin

9 November 2007

On 9 November 2007, Lord Justice Moses sitting with Mr Justice Irwin granted The Corner House and Campaign Against Arms Trade permission to bring a full judicial review hearing against the decision by the Director of the Serious Fraud Office to terminate the SFO investigation into alleged bribery by BAE Systems in its Saudi Arabian arms deals. Their judgment outlines their reasons for giving permission, and summarises issues relating to the costs of the judicial review.

BAE-Saudi arms deals investigation legal challenge
The Corner House and CAAT

8 November 2007

At an oral hearing in the UK High Court on Friday 9 November 2007, lawyers for Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) and The Corner House will argue that permission should be granted for a full judicial review hearing against the UK Government's decision to cut short an investigation by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) into alleged corruption by BAE Systems in recent arms deals with Saudi Arabia.

For Permission Hearing for Judicial Review
lawyers on behalf of The Corner House and CAAT

7 November 2007

On 9 November 2007 at a High Court hearing, lawyers for The Corner House and Campaign Against Arms Trade presented this outline (or 'skeleton') of their arguments as to why a judicial review should be held of the Serious Fraud Office's decision in December 2006 to cut short its investigation into alleged corruption by BAE Systems in recent Al Yamamah arms deals with Saudi Arabia. 

from The Corner House
Dr Susan Hawley

31 October 2007

This Corner House submission urges the Woolf Committee, set up by BAE, to look in detail at BAE's use of agents and consultants to obtain contracts, lobbying policies, covert monitoring of NGOs, failure to cooperate with law enforcement authorities, and at how BAE should deal with allegations of its past malpractice.

CAAT and The Corner House with Mark Thomas

23 September 2007

On 23 September 2007, activist comedian Mark Thomas organised a comedy benefit night of Britain's top comedians to raise public awareness of the UK's Serious Fraud Office decision to drop its investigation into bribery allegations involving BAE Systems in Saudi Arabia and to support the legal challenge to this decision. This "secret file" programme was given to all those who attended.

by Mr Justice Collins
Honorable Mr Justice Collins

29 May 2007

On 29 May 2007, a High Court judge refused to grant permission to The Corner House and CAAT for a full judicial review hearing of the December 2006 decision by the Director of the Serious Fraud Office to stop an investigation into alleged bribery and corruption in BAE's recent arms contracts with Saudi Arabia.

Serious Fraud Office Director

11 May 2007

The Serious Fraud Office Director argues that permission to bring a judicial review of his decision to stop the BAE-Saudi Arabia-corruption investigation should be refused.

against the Director of the Serious Fraud Office
The Corner House and Campaign Against Arms Trade

18 April 2007

On 18 April 2007, The Corner House and Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) filed papers at the High Court in a judicial review of the UK's Serious Fraud Office's decision in December 2006 to end its investigation into alleged corruption by BAE Systems in Saudi Arabia.

Nicholas Hildyard

18 April 2007

This Corner House 'witness statement' outlines the nexus between corruption and bribery, and international trade, economic investment, terrorism and national security, and provides background on legislative and other steps to combat corruption. It forms part of the claim for a judicial review against the UK Government's decision in December 2006 to terminate an investigation by the Serious Fraud Office into alleged corruption by BAE Systems in recent Al Yamamah arms contracts with Saudi Arabia.

Update on proposed judicial review, 25 January 2007
CAAT and The Corner House

25 January 2007

On Friday 19 January 2007, CAAT and The Corner House received the Government's formal response to their proposed judicial review challenge of the Serious Fraud Office decision to discontinue the investigation into BAE Systems.

The letter sent by the Government's solicitors seeks to defend the decision. There is nothing in that letter which has dissuaded CAAT and The Corner House from their view that the decision was unlawful and is susceptible to challenge in the High Court.

NGO letter to Prime Minister Tony Blair, 15 January 2007
National and international NGOs

15 January 2007

140 NGOs from 37 countries called upon Prime Minister Tony Blair to re-open the investigation of the Al Yamamah defence contract between BAE and Saudi Arabia government because of the impacts of corruption on democracy, sustainable development, human rights and poverty.

Treasury Solicitor reply, 5 January 2007
UK Government Treasury Solitictor

5 January 2007

The Treasury Solicitor confirmed that the Government intended to respond by 19 January 2007.

Corner House Research and Campaign Against Arms Trade response, 3 January 2007
The Corner House and CAAT

3 January 2007

Corner House Research and Campaign Against Arms Trade agreed to the Treasury Solicitor's request for an extension of time to respond to the 18 December 2006 letter sent on behalf of The Corner House and CAAT, provided that he confirmed that the groups would receive a response by 19 January 2007.

Treasury Solicitor reply, 28 December 2006
UK Government Treasury Solicitor

28 December 2006

The UK Government's Treasury Solicitor replied that the Government would endeavour to provide a substantive reponse by 19 January 2007 to the 18 December 2006 letter sent on behalf of The Corner House and CAAT.

CAAT and The Corner House

18 December 2006

On 18 December 2006, The Corner House and Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) began a legal challenge to the decision by the UK's Serious Fraud Office to drop the investigation into bribery allegations involving BAE Systems Plc in Saudi Arabia.

How Rich Country Export Credit Agencies Facilitate Corruption in the Global South
The Corner House

1 May 2006

The Corner House interviewed by the US magazine, Multinational Monitor, on export credit agencies and corruption.

The evidence so far from the OECD Working Group on Bribery Phase 2 reviews
Susan Hawley for ECA-Watch

28 February 2006

The OECD's Working Group on Bribery regard export credit agencies (ECAs) as essential to combating bribery and believe that ECA procedures to do so could be significantly improved. The Group's reviews of various OECD countries emphasise the importance of ECAs having proper procedures in place to detect and report bribery suspicions to law enforcement agencies, and to exclude companies convicted of corruption from further export credit support.

Its comments and recommendations on public procurement and bribery of foreign officials
Susan Hawley

28 February 2006

The OECD Working Group on Bribery's reviews of how countries are implementing the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention are an invaluable source of information about practice in different countries in combating bribery. This paper pulls together all the Group's comments and recommendations about public procurement, and summarises the procedures countries have developed to exclude companies convicted of bribery from public procurement.

Susan Hawley

2 December 2005

There need to be considerable improvements to the UK's enforcement regime to combat corruption and money laundering. Laws on non tax-deductibility of bribes are not being adequately enforced. The UK government should take further measures to raise awareness of bribery; introduce preventative measures and new corruption legislation; and establish a fair and workable debarment system.

Susan Hawley

25 November 2005

Northern institutions have a significant impact on corruption in developing countries, particularly in the form of bribery by Northern companies and money laundering by Northern banks of the proceeds of corruption. Northern states have been directly and indirectly complicit in these activities, primarily by turning a blind eye and failing to take action. If corruption is be tackled internationally, the Northern state itself needs to be redesigned.

Dr Susan Hawley

18 November 2005

On 21 October 2005, the ECGD announced several proposed changes to its anti-corruption procedures. This document outlines The Corner House's concerns about these proposals, particularly the weak audit clause and the non-requirement to supply the identity of agents.

The Corner House

21 October 2005

On 21st October 2005, the ECGD announced its provisional response to the public consultation on its anti-corruption procedures. The ECGD proposes to take some steps towards re-strengthening its procedures, but has still stopped short in some key areas.

A historic opportunity
ECA-Watch

22 September 2005

This submission to the OECD Working Group on Export Credits and Credit Guarantees argues that a strong new OECD Action Statement on Combating Bribery in Officially Supported Export Credits should be agreed in October 2005 and recomends key anti-bribery measures to be incorporated into it.

Dr Susan Hawley

12 September 2005

This document outlines ways in which the UK Government can implement a new EU Procurement Directive requiring Member States to exclude companies and individuals convicted of corruption from being awarded public procurement contracts.

The Corner House and others

30 June 2005

In June 2005, several trade unions and NGOs signed a joint statement calling on the UK government to take immediate steps to meet its international obligations on corruption by taking 12 detailed actions.

The Agenda for 2005
Dr Susan Hawley

22 June 2005

This submission to the EU Council Working Group on Trade details how the OECD Action Statement on Combating Bribery in Officially Supported Export Credits should be strengthened and how European Export Credit Agencies should improve their anti-bribery procedures. It was prepared for a special meeting held between the EU Council Working Group on Export Credits and NGOs on 22 June 2005.

Dr Susan Hawley

15 June 2005

In January 2005, the UK's export credit agency, ECGD, announced a public consultation into its weakened anti-corruption procedures, introduced following industry lobbying. This submission to that consultation argues that the ECGD should revert to its revised procedures if it is to prevent bribery in the projects that it supports.

A Legal Opinion
Lord Lester and Ben Jaffey

16 May 2005

This Legal Opinion examines the legal powers of the UK's export credit agency, the Export Credits Guarantee Department (ECGD), to blacklist companies involved in bribery and corruption. It argues that ECGD would be perfectly entitled to have a firm policy of refusing to provide financial support to companies that have previously engaged in bribery or corruption, provided that it also considered the exceptional circumstances of any particular case on its merits.

Dr Susan Hawley

30 March 2005

In March 2005, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) published an extensive review of how the UK is implementing the OECD's Anti-Bribery Convention. This document analyses the review's main findings.