Working definition for corruption in non-criminal contexts

In defining the non-criminalised forms of corruption, this chapter relies on the nature of the act: it conceives of corruption in relation to the public roles of officials.[1] The World Bank’s definition - ‘the abuse of public office for private gain’ - is helpful here. According to Kuwaiti law, it is possible to conceptualise a broader conception of corruption that covers the non-criminal forms of corruption. Corruption therefore involves violations committed by officials against the public office and their public roles. This type of corruption may be addressed by regulations and laws that set out integrity values, prohibit various acts, and specify measures that can be taken by the state. These measures include codes of conduct; civil actions, such as civil lawsuits; and disciplinary offences in the context of the civil service (see Table 5.1). This approach responds to the concerns of NGO-3, who stated that the definition of corruption should focus not only on the financial aspects of corruption, but also on the administrative forms of corruption.

Current non-criminal counter-corruption measures

This section explores the existing non-criminal counter-corruption measures in Kuwait. In this chapter, the measures are classified in a hierarchical way based on Ayres and Braithwaite’s model of‘the enforcement pyramid’. The first section then identifies the idea of the enforcement pyramid as an innovative approach. The main thrust of the approach is to respond to corruption in a gradual fashion. The second section addresses the persuasive counter-corruption measures (codes of conduct in the civil service and self-regulation of the private sector). The third

Table 5.1 Non-criminal counter-corruption responses

Act Function

Civil Law Act (Civil Act) 67/1980

Administrative Disputes Act (ADA) 20/1981

Civil Service Act (CSA) 15/1979 and its Statutory Instrument (CSA-SI)

Code of Conduct of Public Officials Circular No. 11/2012 (Code 2012)

Legal Advice and Legislation Department Act(LALD Act) 12/1960

State Audit Bureau Act (SAB Act) 30/1964

It sets out the provisions of civil responsibility

It establishes the judicial review over administrative decisions

It sets out, inter alia, the disciplinary system for public officials

It set outs the standards of integrity and behaviours that should be followed

It establishes the body that defends the interests of the public treasury in the courts

It sets out the financial irregularities and the Disciplinary Tribunal

section identifies civil law measures that can potentially be used against corruption. Finally, the fourth section identifies the administrative measures.

  • [1] Gardiner (2007). 2 See chapters 2.3.1 and 4.2.
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