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Transparency International Ireland welcome publication of proposals for new anti-corruption bill

Dublin, 20 June 2012

New plans for an innovative anti-corruption law that could allow a court to remove a TD (member of parliament) or minister from office and prevent them from holding office for up to ten years have been welcomed by Transparency International Ireland (TI Ireland) today.

The general scheme of the Criminal Justice (Corruption) Bill 2012 was released for public consultation today and it includes provisions to allow a court to remove a serving TD or official (including Ministers), where a conviction for corruption has been made against them.

The bill will also include measures that allow for a presumption of guilt where an official or TD has received donations, gifts or unexplained wealth in excess of what they have declared to the Standards in Public Office Commission.

Provisions aimed at holding companies and their directors to account for corrupt payments are also included, while it is planned to create new offences of trading in influence and reckless payments to officials.

'Corrupt politicians have no place in any parliament and we expect the new law will make that clear to anyone thinking about abusing their position for private gain', said John Devitt, Chief Executive of TI Ireland.

The new legislation will bring Ireland closer to implementing the UN and OECD conventions on corruption and bribery and should make it easier for convictions to be secured against corrupt officials and bribe payers.

'This legislation shows how international and civil society pressure can shape important legislation. We're now hoping the public will engage in the consultation to make the new law even stronger', added Mr Devitt.

The general scheme of the Criminal Justice (Corruption) Bill is available here.