UK Global Anti-Corruption Sanctions Regime: Resources for Civil Society

This page contains resources for NGOs and civil society to better understand and use the UK Global Anti-Corruption Sanctions Regime. 

Briefing Notes

Here is a short briefing note with a general overview of the UK Global Anti-Corruption Sanctions Regime.

Short Briefing Note

This briefing note is more detailed and contains frequently asked questions by civil society from our training sessions.

Detailed Briefing Note

UK Government Resources

UK Global Anti-Corruption Sanctions Submission Template

It can be difficult to know where to begin when drafting a sanctions submission. The ILP has worked with the UK Anti-Corruption Coalition and REDRESS to produce a UK Global Anti-Corruption Sanctions submission template with an example case for NGOs and civil society to use as a guide.

UK Global Anti-Corruption Sanctions Regime Submission Template 

Training Sessions

The ILP has run training sessions on the UK Global Anti-Corruption Sanctions Regime for groups of NGOs in Latin America, Asia Pacific and sub-Saharan Africa. Below are the recordings of the training sessions, along with the PowerPoint slides. Please note, we leave substantial time for Q&As in our training sessions, but do not include them in the recordings due to privacy concerns. 

Transparency International Latin American & Caribbean Chapters Training

PowerPoint Slides

Transparency International Asia Pacific Chapters Training

PowerPoint Slides

African Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ) Training

PowerPoint Slides

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Are there any written or informal rules about how old evidence of corruption can be in order for a submission to still be accepted by the FCDO?

 

There are no limitation rules explicitly set out in the UK Global Anti-Corruption Sanctions Regime, and the FCDO has confirmed the same. The time-limit on a case would most likely be subject to the “appropriateness” test laid out within the regulations.

 

Q. How could one find out the reason a case was not picked up by the FCDO?

 

As this is a foreign policy tool, rather than a judicial tool, the FCDO’s obligations to provide a response to civil society is not set out. The FCDO has stated that they cannot provide information about ongoing investigations as it often impacts other pending investigations. The best way at the moment to find this out is through informal channels, such as speaking to the FCDO’s Desk Officer for your country, or the sanctions teams themselves.

 

Q. When making a submission on an individual to be designated, how helpful is it to the case if they are already designated on another list, for example, in the US?

 

Number 5 on the policy document is about collective international action. The FCDO has expressed its willingness in working together with other countries, principally, other countries with these sanctions regimes, e.g., the US and Canada. Any person added to a US sanctions list would be a strong reason for the UK to do the same.

 

There is the issue that the UK regime is intentionally more limited in scope when concerning corruption (bribery or misappropriation of property). As the US regime has a much more open definition, there will be persons designated on their list that would not necessarily be considered sanctionable under the UK regime.

 

However, the definition of “involved person” in the UK regime is very open, and so it will be easier to sanction those persons who are facilitators of corruption under it.

 

Since the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, the UK has been working more closely with the EU, the US, Canada and Australia to make sure that their respective sanctions lists contain the same individuals and entities.  

 

Q. What are the best ways to determine whether a person has assets in the UK?

 

There are a number of organisations that have investigators. If you are interested in assets in the UK, the UK Anti- Corruption Coalition (UKACC) has a number of members, some of those members are specialist investigations groups, that you could contact for assistance.

 

Q. What UK nexus is needed for applying for the Anti-Corruption sanctions regime?

 

It really comes down to a test of appropriateness, i.e., is it appropriate for the UK to apply or use sanctions in this context. There is no “stock answer” on nexus. If someone were to have assets in the UK, or spend time in or travel to the UK, then you will be much more persuasive in terms of demonstrating how much impact the sanctions would have.

 

If not, we get into the difficult issue of “signalling sanctions”, where the person doesn’t have a clear link to the UK, but the sanctions are carried out to signal that what they have done is wrong. Most cases need a nexus. 

 

However, there are some examples of the corruption being so egregious and serious, that the UK sanctions them to send out the message that they are not welcome in the country, regardless of whether they have a nexus in the UK or not.

 

Q. What are the asset recovery resources for victims of corruption? Is there a pathway for a country to apply for recovery to the FCDO once an individual has been sanctioned?

 

Sanctions freeze assets, they don't seize assets. Once assets are frozen, they are still subject to internal investigation domestically or internationally. There is still the ability for asset return procedures to take place.

 

In order for frozen assets to be seized, one would then need to go through either civil or criminal asset forfeiture or seizure procedures. The UK has very strong legislation on the books for going after those assets, through civil recovery or criminal routes.

If you would like to get in touch about any of the content on this page, or with any anti-corruption sanctions queries, please send an email to contact@internationallawyersproject.org and a staff member will respond.