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Penalties

Individuals
What penalties are available to the courts for violations of corruption laws by individuals?

All Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act and Criminal Code offences are criminal in nature. Under the act, individuals are subject to imprisonment of up to 14 years. Under the code, penalties for domestic bribery include imprisonment of up to five years for individuals (including directors and officers who assist or encourage the commission of the offence).

Companies or organisations
What penalties are available to the courts for violations of corruption laws by companies or organisations?

Companies may be subject to steep monetary penalties for violating anti-corruption law. For example, the penalties in R v Niko Resources Ltd ([2012] AWLD 4536) and R v Griffiths Energy International ([2013] AJ 412 (Alta QB)) were approximately C$9.5 million and C$10 million, respectively. Courts and prosecutors are not limited by a cap on monetary penalties; there is no maximum fine under the Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act or the Criminal Code. 

Canadian jurisprudence demonstrates the various factors that courts may consider when making sentencing decisions, including:

  • the degree of planning and duration and the complexity of the offence;
  • whether the company has been convicted or penalised by a regulatory body for a similar offence;
  • whether the company brought the matter to the authorities’ attention, disclosed the findings of a comprehensive internal investigation and otherwise cooperated with the investigation of the bribe; and
  • any steps taken by the company to implement anti-corruption compliance programmes in order to prevent bribes.

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