The Anti-Bribery and Anti-Corruption Review: Spain

Published in The Law Reviews

Under the SCC, bribery occurs whenever a public official receives or is offered a reward to carry out an act or make an omission in breach of his or her duties or in the performance of these duties.

In Spain, bribery is regulated in the Spanish Criminal Code (SCC). The SCC prohibits the payment and receipt (including the promise or offer) of bribes, both to public officials or authorities and to private entities or individuals in commercial transactions.

In contrast to other legal systems, in Spain there are no specific anti-corruption regulations, except for the provisions included in the SCC. Therefore, the concept of ‘corruption’ can encompass a variety of offences under the SCC (including influence peddling, embezzlement and illegal political financing). In general terms, they follow what is internationally considered as ‘corruption’.

Bribery and corruption cases are investigated by specialist law enforcement bodies created for this purpose.

In the past few years, Spain has seen some of the biggest corruption cases in its recent history. These have involved several politicians and businessmen and have shaken its political system. This has led to unprecedented decisions by the Spanish courts, including the conviction of a political party for profiting from corruption.

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