Minister says new anti-corruption rules represent a "complete modernisation" of laws

The bill has passed through all stages in the Oireachtas

Minister says new anti-corruption rules represent a "complete modernisation" of laws

Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan at the launch of the annual report of the Courts Service for 2016 | Image: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie

New anti-corruption laws have passed through all stages in the Dáil and Seanad, the Justice Minister has announced.

The Criminal Justice (Corruption Offences) Bill 2017 replaces seven existing anti-corruption acts, and implements recommendations from the Mahon Tribunal.

It includes offences focusing on areas such as Irish officials "doing a corrupt act in relation to his or her office", and cases of intimidation where a threat is used instead of a bribe.

It also includes a new strict liability offence - where a corporation can be liable and face an unlimited fine for the actions of directors, managers, employees or agents who commit a corruption offence for the benefit of the corporation. 

Charlie Flanagan says the bill represents a "complete modernisation of our anti-corruption laws".

He observed: This is a robust piece of legislation with very strong penalties. For conviction on indictment the penalties for most offences are imprisonment for up to 10 years, an unlimited fine, forfeiture of any bribe, possible forfeiture of office for public servants and elected officials and possible prohibition on seeking public office for up to ten years.

"I am also pleased that I have been able to address the six recommendations of the Mahon Tribunal Report relating to corruption legislation. This includes creating new offences such as making payments to a third party knowing that payment will be used for a bribe."

He added he is confident the new legislation "will stand up to scrutiny on the international stage".

The bill will now be passed to the President for signing before it becomes law.