News & what's on - Written by Barry & Richard on Sunday, October 26, 2014 23:09 - 0 Comments
Pinsent Masons Regulatory Conference – David Green confirms Anti-Bribery central plank underpinning Independent SFO
“There is, in the very particular context of top end fraud and bribery, the need for visible and demonstrable independence. Many of our cases concern blue chip companies. They may be household names whose performance is of great importance to the UK economy and every citizen would wish them well: they are, as it were, the good guys.
SFO investigations involving iconic British enterprises do not enhance our popularity, and some people may feel a certain tension between wanting the law enforced but also wanting our companies to prosper. And of course, these corporates have real clout and influence in Westminster and the City. Some corporates of interest to the SFO imagine it helpful to use the media to influence and shape public opinion, hoping to move the SFO into a position more advantageous to the corporate. These facts alone underline the need for a visibly independent investigator and prosecutor to have the conduct of these cases. That is what the SFO is for.
Visible and demonstrable independence is crucial to judicial confidence, to business confidence in London as a level playing field, and to public confidence in the investigation and prosecution of major economic crime involving our flagship enterprises.
…The most respected NGOs around Bribery and Corruption have together said (and I paraphrase) that any agency charged with the investigation of such matters must have the following characteristics. It should contain both prosecutors and investigators working together in specialist teams; it should be adequately funded for the activity, and (crucially) it should have bribery and corruption as its top priority, not merely one priority amongst many others. The SFO has those characteristics and that guaranteed, ring-fenced priority.”
said David Green CB QC speaking at the Pinsent Masons Annual Regulatory conference where David Green laid out a strong case for the SFO and highlighted the importance of the SFO in combatting bribery.