Stakeholders Dialogue on Liability of Legal Persons for Corruption

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Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), 22 June 2023 – In 2018, Malaysia implemented significant reforms to its corporate liability regime for corruption offenses with the introduction of Section 17A of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act. These reforms came into effect on June 1, 2020, and were modeled after the United Kingdom's liability of legal persons (LLP) approach, which has been praised by experts and governments alike as an advanced method of holding companies accountable for serious criminal acts.

Recognizing the importance of enhancing Malaysia's capacity and effectiveness in investigating, prosecuting, and adjudicating corruption cases involving legal entities, UNODC embarked on a research project. This project focused on studying Malaysia's regulatory and institutional framework, as well as its investigative, prosecutorial, and adjudicative capabilities in corruption cases against legal persons. The aim was to provide tailored recommendations to practitioners and policymakers based on the analysis of obstacles to successful prosecution.

To facilitate this research and promote collaboration, a two-day workshop was organized in Putrajaya, the administrative capital of Malaysia, in partnership with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC). The workshop's primary objective was to enhance the capacity of criminal justice agencies in dealing with the liability of legal persons. One of the key outcomes sought from the workshop was to ensure that criminal justice institutions were equipped with the necessary regulatory framework to effectively investigate, prosecute, and adjudicate corruption cases involving legal entities. In addition, the workshop aimed to address legislative amendments to the MACC, such as the introduction of autonomous liability of legal persons, the provision of beneficial ownership information, the establishment of adequate whistleblower protection measures, and the implementation of Deferred Prosecution Agreements.

The workshop pursued three main objectives. First, it involved the presentation of the draft report on the liability of legal persons in Malaysia, which was prepared by UNODC. This report formed the foundation for discussions and served as a starting point for developing additional recommendations. Second, participants engaged in detailed deliberations to review the draft recommendations of the report and enhance them further. This collaborative effort allowed stakeholders to contribute their expertise and insights, leading to more robust and comprehensive recommendations. Lastly, the workshop provided an opportunity to examine the experiences and best practices of other countries in enforcing corporate liability for corruption, offering valuable insights and lessons that could be adapted to the Malaysian context.

The workshop drew a diverse range of participants, including representatives from civil society organizations, academia, professional and standards bodies, chambers of commerce, multinational corporations (MNCs), government-linked companies, the Malaysian Bar Council, and various UN and international organizations. Their involvement ensured that stakeholders' perspectives were taken into account, and their feedback on the draft recommendations was actively sought and considered. Moreover, the workshop played a crucial role in raising awareness among stakeholders about international best practices concerning the liability of legal persons for corruption offenses, fostering a broader understanding of the subject and its implications.

As a result of this collaborative effort, the workshop aimed to produce a final report on the Liability of Legal Persons for Corruption in Malaysia. This report would provide comprehensive insights, recommendations, and a roadmap for strengthening Malaysia's criminal justice system and effectively addressing corruption cases involving legal entities. By equipping criminal justice agencies with the necessary tools and knowledge, the workshop sought to make a tangible impact on Malaysia's efforts to combat corruption and promote integrity within the corporate sector.

The funding for this activity was provided by Siemens.

Other Useful Links:

  • A description of the following workshop on Liability of Legal Persons held in Malaysia in June 2023 can be found here.
  • A summary of a regional roundtable to combat Corruption in Sports held in Malaysia in May 2023 can be found here.
  • A description of an Offshore Financial Investigation Training held in Malaysia in February 2023 can be found here.