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What Is The Time Limit For Prosecuting Anti-corruption Offenses?


Anti-corruption prosecutions are not subject to a statute of limitations, either within or outside Australia.



The general statute of limitations for corruption cases is five years. The limitation period can be extended to a maximum of 10 years in practice due to suspension and interruption laws (although exceptions may apply). After the criminal behavior has concluded, the statute of limitations begins to run. When the limitation period relating to the last criminal act expires, the case will be time barred in circumstances where criminal activity involves corruption actions and other criminal crimes linked by the same criminal intent. As a result, certain corruption prosecutions may not be time barred until considerably later than five or ten years after the acts of corruption. For example, where acts of corruption are combined with acts of forgery and the use of forged papers, the statute of limitations for the criminal activity as a whole does not begin to run until the falsified papers (e.g., contracts, invoices, financial statements) are no longer in use.



AFA actions are time-barred after three years, which begins on the date the breach was discovered and ends three years later if no action was taken to sanction the breach within that time. Criminal prosecution: Since the revision of the statute of limitations, which took effect on March 1, 2017, the time limit for prosecuting offences (‘délits’) like corruption has been increased from three to six years. This time period begins on the date of the first or most recent act of corruption. If the offence is concealed or mimicked, the time limit begins to run only when the offence can be detected and prosecuted (but the offence cannot be prosecuted more than 12 years after its commission).



Corruption offenses have a three-year statute of limitations, according to Section 78(3)(5) of the Penal Code. Section 31(2)(1) of the Act on Administrative Offenses governs the limitation time for association fines imposed on firms under Section 30 of the Act on Administrative Offenses. The statute of limitations for prosecution is three years from the end of the company’s most recent business-related act of corruption.



The Corruption Act’s offences are referred to be “hybrid offences,” which means that the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions can choose between summary disposition (which has a six-month statutory deadline) and a trial on indictment. Because there is no statute of limitations for the initiation of proceedings in the prosecution of indictable offenses, the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions could choose to initiate proceedings at any time in relation to an infraction under the Corruption Act.



The statute of limitations for a certain offense is determined by the length of the sentence. In the case of active and passive corruption of Swiss or foreign public authorities, the right to prosecute ends after 15 years, according to Article 97, paragraph 1 lit b of the SCC (Articles 322ter, 322quater and 322septies of the SCC). According to Article 97, para 1 lit c of the SCC, the right to prosecute facilitation payments (Articles 322quinquies and sexies of the SCC) and bribery in the private sector (Articles 322octies of the SCC) is subject to a 10-year time limit. These restrictions only apply to the first-instance court. Furthermore, depending on the offender’s actual penalty, Article 99, para 1 of the SCC establishes a time limit of five, fifteen, or twenty years to carry out a sentence. UK There is no such thing as a statute of limitations. Depending on when the alleged infraction or offences were committed, a firm or an individual might be charged under the Bribery Act, pre-Act legislation, or both. When charges can be made, there is no time restriction.


United Arab Emirates

A claim for bribery does not have a statute of limitations. A criminal lawsuit shall not be terminated by passage of time restriction in any of the offences set forth in this Chapter, and the punishment imposed shall not be extinguished, according to Article 239 bis 2 of the code. Furthermore, civil actions originating from or linked to them are not barred by the passage of time.


United States of America

The anti-bribery and accounting provisions of the FCPA do not have a criminal statute of limitations. As a result, substantive criminal offenses of the act are subject to the standard five-year limitations term set forth in 18 USC 3282. In FCPA cases involving conspiracies, however, the government may be able to reach conduct that occurred before the five-year limitations period if it can prove that one act in furtherance of the conspiracy occurred during the limitations period (DOJ and SEC, “A Resource Guide to the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act,” at 35 (2012, updated 2015)). In order to get evidence from foreign countries, the DOJ can also petition a court to suspend the statute of limitations for up to three years (id). The statute of limitations in civil proceedings brought by the SEC is governed by 28 USC 2462, which provides for a five-year limitations period that begins “when the claim is first accrued” (id).