Anti-corruption authorities

Article 6.1 of the United Nations Convention against Corruption establishes that “Each State Party shall, in accordance with the fundamental principles of its legal system, ensure the existence of a body or bodies, as appropriate, that prevent corruption” and goes on to state in Article 6.2 that “Each State Party shall grant the body or bodies referred to in paragraph 1 of this article the necessary independence”. Article 36 of the same instrument establishes under the title “Specialised authorities” that “Each State Party shall ensure the existence of a body or bodies or persons specialized in combating corruption through law enforcement.”

The United Nations Convention against Corruption is not the only instrument intended to ensure the existence of anti-corruption bodies and that these enjoy the independence they need (the Criminal Law Convention on Corruption of the Council of Europe for instance).

Consequently, in compliance with the international obligations subscribed to, the existence of preventive and investigative anti-corruption bodies (and hybrids) has been adopted by legislators in Europe and the world over.

The institutionalised models at the European level can be classified into three groups:

  • Multi-purpose agencies
  • Law enforcement type institutions
  • Preventive, policy development and co-ordination institutions).

In this section we include several European and international anti-corruption agencies, as well as some of the networks that these agencies have established to exchange experiences and expertise in the prevention and prosecution of corruption.