bribery


bribery
/bruy"beuh ree/, n., pl. briberies.
the act or practice of giving or accepting a bribe: Bribery of a public official is a felony.
[1350-1400; ME briberie theft < MF: begging. See BRIBE, -ERY]

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Crime of giving a benefit (e.g., money) in order to influence the judgment or conduct of a person in a position of trust (e.g., an official or witness).

Accepting a bribe also constitutes a crime. Bribery is typically punishable as a felony (see felony and misdemeanour). In any charge of bribery, some element of "corrupt purpose" must be implied or proved. Thus, in the absence of a complete statutory prohibition on the granting of favours to a public official, a gift is not a bribe unless it is given with some intent to influence the recipient's official behaviour. See also extortion.

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law
      the act of promising, giving, receiving, or agreeing to receive money or some other item of value with the corrupt aim of influencing a public official in the discharge of his official duties. When money has been offered or promised in exchange for a corrupt act, the official involved need not actually accomplish that act for the offense of bribery to be complete. The crime is typically punishable as a felony (felony and misdemeanour).

      Although bribery originally involved interference with judges, its definition has since been expanded to include actions by all sorts of government officials, from the local to the national level, and to cover all public employees. Special provisions also have been enacted in various jurisdictions to punish the bribing of voters, jurors, witnesses, and other lay participants in official proceedings. Some codes also penalize bribery in designated classes of private or commercial transactions (e.g., bribery of labour-union officials by employers).

      As to the nature of the money or favour given or received, the main issue in drafting laws against bribery has been whether to limit the crime to cases in which money or property is the inducement or to extend it to cases in which any benefit or advantage is conferred or promised, as most statutes now do. Practical limitations on the interpretation of such broad language are inevitable, however, because the principle, if applied fully, would criminalize most legislative and executive compromises. One limitation on any charge of bribery is that some element of “corrupt purpose” must be implied or proved, which means that in the absence of a complete statutory prohibition on the granting of favours to a public official, a gift is not a bribe unless there has been some intent to influence the official behaviour of the recipient. Thus, giving a gift or tip to a civil servant out of general friendship or gratitude and without an intent to influence his official behaviour is not punishable as bribery, though it may be prohibited under other legislation limiting corrupt practices. One recurring difficulty in examining cases of public corruption is discovering which of the parties involved took the initiative in the transaction—i.e., whether the payment was offered to a public official in order to influence his official behaviour (bribery) or demanded by him in exchange for special consideration or services ( extortion).

      In addition to violating legal and moral codes, bribery poses serious problems for economic development and international trade. The price of bribes must be factored into some international transactions, and corporations often find themselves in the difficult position of having to violate anticorruption laws in their own countries as the price of doing business in other parts of the world.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • BRIBERY — BRIBERY, making a gift to a person in authority, especially a judge. The injunction not to take bribes is several times repeated in the Bible, twice with the reason given that bribes blind the clear sighted and upset the pleas of the just (Ex. 23 …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • bribery — brib·ery n pl er·ies: the crime of giving or taking a bribe Merriam Webster’s Dictionary of Law. Merriam Webster. 1996. bribery I …   Law dictionary

  • Bribery — • The payment or the promise of money or other lucrative consideration to induce another, while under the obligation of acting without any view to private emolument, to act as the briber shall prescribe Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006.… …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • bribery — brib‧er‧y [ˈbraɪbəri] noun [uncountable] LAW dishonestly giving money to someone to persuade them to do something to help you: • The International Chamber of Commerce has had rules against bribery and extortion since 1977. * * * bribery noun [U]… …   Financial and business terms

  • Bribery — Brib er*y, n.; pl. {Briberies}. [OE. brybery rascality, OF. briberie. See {Bribe}, n.] 1. Robbery; extortion. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] 2. The act or practice of giving or taking bribes; the act of influencing the official or political action of… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • bribery — (n.) late 14c., theft, robbery, swindling, pilfering; see BRIBE (Cf. bribe) (n.) + ERY (Cf. ery). Specifically of magistrates taking money for corrupted services from mid 16c.; sense of offering of a bribe is from 1560s …   Etymology dictionary

  • bribery — [brīb′ər ē] n. pl. briberies [ME & OFr briberie, theft: see BRIBE] the giving, offering, or taking of bribes …   English World dictionary

  • Bribery — Political corruption Corruption Perceptions Index, 2010 …   Wikipedia

  • bribery — noun ADJECTIVE ▪ election VERB + BRIBERY ▪ resort to BRIBERY + NOUN ▪ scandal ▪ allegation (esp. BrE) …   Collocations dictionary

  • bribery — noun (U) dishonestly giving money to someone in order to persuade them to do something that will help you: We tried persuasion, bribery and threats, but the guard still wouldn t let us pass. | He was arrested on suspicion of accepting bribery. |… …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English


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