Specific offences and restrictions

Offences

What are the key corruption and bribery offences in your jurisdiction?

The key corruption and bribery offences are provided for in Part 2 of the Criminal Justice (Corruption Offences) Act 2018 and include the following offences.

Active and passive corruptionIt is an offence to directly or indirectly corruptly offer, give, agree to give, request, accept, obtain or agree to accept a gift, consideration or advantage as an inducement to, or reward for or otherwise on account of, doing an act in relation to one’s office, employment, position or business.

‘Corruptly’ is defined under the 2018 act and includes acting with an improper purpose personally or by influencing another person, whether:

  • by means of making a false or misleading statement;
  • by means of withholding, concealing, altering or destroying a document or other information; or
  • by other means.

Active and passing trading in influenceIt is an offence to directly or indirectly corruptly offer, give, or agree to give, a gift, consideration or advantage in order to induce another person to exert an improper influence over an act of an official in relation to the office, employment, position or business of that official.

Similarly, it is an offence to directly or indirectly corruptly request, accept, obtain, or agree to accept for one’s self or for any other person, a gift, consideration or advantage on account of a person promising or asserting the ability to improperly influence an official to do an act in relation to their office, employment, position or business.

Corruption in relation to office, employment, position or businessAn Irish official who directly or indirectly does an act in relation to their office, employment, position or business for the purpose of corruptly obtaining a gift, consideration or advantage for themselves or any other person, will be guilty of an offence.

It is also an offence for an Irish official to use confidential information obtained in the course of their office, employment, position or business for the purpose of corruptly obtaining a gift, consideration or advantage for themselves or for any other person.

‘Irish official’ includes members of Parliament, members of the judiciary, officers, directors and employees of public bodies and persons employed by or acting for or on behalf of the public administration of the state.

Giving a gift, consideration or advantage that may be used to facilitate an offence under the 2018 act

It is an offence to give a gift, consideration or advantage to another person where the person knows, or ought reasonably to know, that the gift, consideration or advantage, or a part of it, will be used to facilitate the commission of an offence under the 2018 act.

Creating or using a false document

It is an offence to directly or indirectly create or use a document that the person knows or believes to contain a statement which is false or misleading in a material particular, with the intention of inducing another person to do an acting relation to their office, employment, position or business to the prejudice of the last-mentioned person or another person.

Intimidation

It is an offence to directly or indirectly threaten harm to a person with the intention of corruptly influencing that person or another person to do an act in relation to their office, employment, position or business.

Hospitality restrictions

Are specific restrictions in place regarding the provision of hospitality (eg, gifts, travel expenses, meals and entertainment)? If so, what are the details?

Common examples of corporate hospitality such as meals, match tickets and other entertainment fall within the ordinary meaning of ‘gift, consideration or advantage’. However, such gifts or entertainment do not necessarily fall within the scope of the Criminal Justice (Corruption Offences) Act 2018.  

In order for the provision of corporate hospitality to amount to an offence, it must satisfy the criteria under the 2018 act. The act does not criminalise corporate hospitality that is offered simply to maintain good business relations. 

For example, in order for the offence of active corruption to apply, the hospitality must be offered corruptly (ie, with an improper purpose personally or by influencing another person) and it must be offered as an inducement to or reward for a person doing an act in relation to their employment, position or business.

Facilitation payments

What are the rules relating to facilitation payments?

There is no distinction in Irish law between facilitation payments and other types of corrupt payments. Therefore, should a payment fall within the scope of the Criminal Justice (Corruption Offences) Act 2018, it may constitute an offence.