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Exporting Corruption

Data - Exporting Corruption

Glossary entry on tailor-made laws

A law that seems to have a general purpose, but applies to a particular matter – like a business opportunity or weakening a public institution – and prevents courts from stopping and punishing specific instances of corruption. Tailor-made laws help serve private interests of individuals, groups and companies. This often happens at the cost of others, including the public. These laws can have three purposes:

  • Controlling a sector or industry and gaining or protecting certain privileges: this type of tailor-made law focuses on what can be gained by influencing public decision-making and making these unfair benefits legal.
  • Removing or appointing un/wanted officials or people in power: this type aims to replace independent officials in public office and justice systems with others who enable and permit corruption. For example, laws or amendments might be made to control personnel procedures or to create new positions and get rid of old ones.
  • Reducing the capacity of public institutions for checks and balances: this type aims to remove the institutional obstacles to unfair privileges. For example, laws or amendments can be made to prevent accountability, reduce the monitoring capacity of agencies or cut their budgets. This type of law may also weaken the rights of the media or civil society organisations.

Glossary entries on each country’s hierarchy of laws

Laws and legal instruments have different names in each country. Here we list the legal instruments that potentially have a normative effect on any citizen, company or other organisation in each country. We do not consider an instrument which only concerns a single public body or one individual to a be law.

Glossary entry on state capture

A situation where powerful individuals, institutions, companies or groups within or outside a country use corruption to shape a nation’s policies, legal environment and economy to benefit their own private interests.