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10 Laws 1 (2021)

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Article
APUNCAC and the International Anti-Corruption Court (IACC)
Stuart S. Yeh

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Citation: Yeh, Stuart S. 2021.
APUNCAC and the International
Anti-Corruption Court (IACC). Laws
10: 1. https://dx.doi.org/10.3390/
laws10010001
Received: 9 November 2020
Accepted: 21 December 2020
Published: 25 December 2020
Publisher's Note: MDPI stays neu-
tral with regard to jurisdictional claims
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Copyright: ) 2020 by the author. Li-
censee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This
article is an open access article distributed
under the terms and conditions of the
Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY)
license (https://creativecommons.org/
licenses/by/4.0/).

Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development, University of Minnesota,
Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA; yehxx008@umn.edu
Abstract: The draft Anticorruption Protocol to the United Nations Convention against Corruption
(APUNCAC) seeks to implement aggressive measures to fight corruption and impunity, including
United Nations inspectors who would conduct independent investigations into allegations of cor-
ruption and hand cases to dedicated domestic anticorruption courts. APUNCAC is designed to be
a free-standing proposal. However, it could be combined with Judge Mark Wolf's proposal for an
International Anti-Corruption Court (IACC). An advantage of combining IACC + APUNCAC is that
the combination defuses the key arguments against the IACC. This article reviews evidence sug-
gesting that leaders of nations that currently experience endemic corruption might find it politically
expedient to adopt the proposed reforms. The article discusses the advantages of combining IACC +
APUNCAC. The combination would establish an independent corps of elite investigators, endow
them with strong powers to conduct independent investigations, and enable them to refer cases
to dedicated anticorruption courts staffed by judges vetted by the United Nations Commission on
Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice. APUNCAC establishes mechanisms to ensure accountability
of judges serving dedicated anticorruption courts. By addressing the key arguments against the
IACC, the proposal to combine IACC + APUNCAC may enable broad public support in nations that
would require public support in order to secure ratification.
Keywords: corruption; international public law; international governance; rule-of-law

1. Introduction
The Anticorruption Protocol to the United Nations Convention against Corruption
(APUNCAC) is a draft 200-page international convention developed by the author over the
past decade (Yeh 201 a, 2011b, 2012a, 2012b, 2013, 2014a, 2014b, 2015, 2020a, 2020 , 2,'2:,
forthcoming).1 The objective is to fill gaps in the existing international legal framework
that fights corruption. The existing framework does not establish an international corps of
anticorruption inspectors that are independent of manipulation by domestic elites, does
not establish a system of dedicated anticorruption courts, does not ensure the integrity
of prosecutors and judges who serve those courts, and does not install an effective sys-
tem to collect and centralize accurate beneficial owner information whenever funds are
transmitted internationally or to known bank secrecy havens in amounts exceeding USD
3000.2 APUNCAC contains provisions that would address each of these gaps. The ratio-
nale is that, in the absence of these provisions, domestic elites can manipulate domestic
law enforcement, domestic legal systems, and the international financial system in a way

APUNCAC. Accessed 25 November 2020. http:/ /tinyuri.com/y6bkpott. APUNCAC was introduced via two articles published in 2011. See (Yeh
2011a). Corruption and the Rule of Law in Sub-Saharan Africa. African Journal of Legal Studies 4: 187-208, Yeh (2011b). Ending Corruption in Africa
through United Nations Inspections. International Affairs 87: 629-50.
2 Existing efforts focus on establishing registries to register beneficial ownership of companies, but this would not help investigators in cases where
illicit flows are intermingled with legitimate funds. APUNCAC focuses, instead, on requirements that would force beneficial owners to reveal
their identities with regard to international transfers to known bank secrecy havens, defined as jurisdictions on the U.S. State Department's list
of jurisdictions of primary concern. See Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Bureau for inernational Narcotics and Law
Enfnrcemenr Affairs (2017). International Narcotics Control Strategy Report. vol. 2. Washington, DC: United States Department of State. The rationale
for this focus is that criminals use jurisdictions where regulation is lax to hide illicit funds.

Laws 2021,    https://doi.org/10.3390/laws10010001

https://www.mdpi.com/journal/laws

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