Kuwaiti criminal counter-corruption measures

4.1 Introduction

In the previous chapters, the book has addressed various issues relevant to the phenomenon of corruption (chapter 2) and the counter-corruption values and strategies (chapter 3). These two chapters can be linked to the current chapter. Chapter 2 helps the subsequent chapters to determine how corruption can be combatted. Chapter 3 builds on chapter 2 and studies corruption as a governance problem, suggesting necessary broader non-legal issues that should first be addressed so that the wider public are encouraged to comply with the counter-corruption laws. It also explores the literature on counter-corruption strategies. The current chapter investigates the Kuwaiti legal framework regarding how to combat corruption from the perspective of the criminal law (one law enforcement strategy that was addressed in chapter 3.3.2). It should be noted that although there is an attempt to strike a balance within the legal framework, the Kuwaiti response to corruption resides mainly in the criminal law. This justifies the direction of the book in that the criminal counter-corruption measures are dealt with first, and there is some imbalance between the criminal and non-criminal1 responses. Therefore, this chapter derives its importance from the dominance of counter-corruption criminal measures in Kuwait.

This chapter aims to achieve two of the research objectives (the third and fifth objectives). It investigates Kuwait’s current experience of countercorruption from the perspective of criminal laws (third objective). To achieve the third objective, this chapter approaches three sub-research questions: what are the current criminal measures against corruption? how can these measures be improved? and do the current measures need innovation? Furthermore, this chapter uses socio-legal methodology to ensure a fuller understanding of the subject of this chapter (fifth objective). A qualitative-based study (semi-structured interviews) is adopted to answer the book’ third objective within a practical context.

The chapter proceeds as follows. Section 4.2 delineates the scope of the chapter by finding a working definition of corruption through which criminal counter-corruption laws in Kuwait can be identified. Because this book relates to Kuwait, where corruption is more damaging in the public sector, the focus is on corruption crimes that are committed by public officials. Section 4.3 explores and analyses the legal framework of the criminal counter-corruption measures and their effectiveness. This section uncovers the shortcomings of the current criminal measures and is enriched by the opinions of professional experts. Section 4.4.1 builds on the analysis undertaken in section 4.3 to problcmatise the current criminal responses. It shows that the current criminal responses are inadequate in themselves to deal with grand corruption and suggests some reforms. In addition, faced with the shortcomings of the current criminal laws, section 4.4.2 also suggests potential innovative techniques to confront the problem of grand corruption, such as prosecutorial agreements, bounty hunting, and public mobilisation strategies.

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