The Council of Europe Conventions on Corruption
The Council of Europe has two binding policies against corruption:
First, the Criminal Law Convention on Corruption was adopted in 1998 and represents a regional consensus on what states should do in the areas of criminalisation and international cooperation with respect to corruption. The convention covers the public sector and private sector corruption and a broad range of offences including bribery (domestic and foreign), trading in influence, money laundering and accounting offences. The Criminal Law Convention is complemented by an additional Protocol covering bribery offences committed by and against arbitrators and jurors. These two groups of persons do not legally qualify as public officials and are therefore not covered by the Criminal Law Convention.
Second, the Civil Law Convention on Corruption was adopted in 1998 and came into force in 2003. It provides for compensation for damages resulting from corruption, invalidity of corrupt contracts and whistleblower protection.
- Access a list of signatories and ratifications of the Criminal Law Convention.
- Access a list of signatories and ratifications of the Civil Law Convention.
- Access BIAC's Anti-Corruption Resource Guide for a short description of both conventions.
- Access Transparency International's introductions to the Criminal Law Convention and the Civil Law Convention.
Aside from the Council of Europe's two binding policies, the Council of Europe Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) is also an important institution in the fight against corruption. GRECO was established in 1999 by the Council of Europe to monitor states' compliance with the organisation's anti-corruption standards. Its objective is to improve its members' capacity to fight corruption by Council of Europe anti-corruption standards compliance monitoring through a dynamic process of mutual evaluation and peer pressure. GRECO aims at identifying deficiencies in national anti-corruption policies in order to prompt the necessary legislative, institutional and practical reforms. It also provides a platform for the sharing of best practice in the prevention and detection of corruption. Currently, GRECO comprises 48 member States (all 47 member States and the United States of America).