Promoting Predictability in Business: Solutions for Overlapping Liability in International Anti-Corruption Enforcement

This Note evaluates solutions to the problems of overlapping liability in general and multi-jurisdictional disgorgement in particular. Part I traces the origins of international anti-corruption efforts and provides an overview of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (the “FCPA”). It then discusses the two most significant international anti-corruption conventions: the OECD’s Convention on Combatting Bribery of Foreign Officials in International Business Transactions (the “OECD Convention”) and the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (“UNCAC”). Part II lays out the problems created by the lack of a formal mechanism to prevent overlapping liability— a phenomenon that violates the common law concept known as double jeopardy and the analogous civil law principle ne bis in idem (not twice in the same thing). Part III proposes a formal mechanism to militate against the problems noted in Part II and argues that these provisions should be housed in a series of bilateral agreements akin to those that exist in international antitrust enforcement. Ultimately, this Note stresses the need for a more proportional and predictable method of ensuring that MNCs are not subject to overlapping liability and provides an actionable means for doing so.