"Prevention is key, as Italian law
provides that sufficient internal
controls can be a defence to a charge
of commercial bribery."
1. What is bribery?
The Italian Criminal Code makes it a criminal
offence for anyone who bribes or attempts
to bribe a foreign public official where the
offence is committed in order to procure
an undue benefit directly or indirectly
in international business transactions.
Legislative Decree no. 231 of 8 June 2001
introduced for the first time into Italian law
the principle of criminal liability for legal
entities. A company will be liable for certain
criminal offences, including bribery, carried
out in the company’s interest or for its
advantage by: (i) people representing,
administering or directing the company
or an autonomous branch of the company
(the “Key People”); or (ii) people subject to
the control or supervision of the Key People.
Individuals acting in their own or a third party’s
interest will not trigger the company’s liability.
2. What are the
The company will escape liability if it can
prove that the directive body of the
company undertook internal procedures
tailored to prevent such offences and that
this was supervised by a body with
independent powers. There is no exception
under Italian law for facilitation payments.
3. What are the sanctions?
Sanctions range from imprisonment for
individuals, to fines, seizure of assets and
publication of the judgment both for
individuals and for legal entities.
More from the Anti-Bribery and Corruption Guide:
Australia, Belgium, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Spain, United Arab Emirates and United Kingdom.