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Abstract

The United Nations Convention Against Corruption (adopted in 2003) is the first global in-depth treaty on corruption. This work attempts to assess its significance by analyzing its provisions, in particular, those concerning the areas of prevention, criminalization, and asset recovery. It then seeks to assess its relevancy and effectiveness by giving an overview of the UNCAC’s main compliance challenges, as well as other existing initiatives that tackle corruption. Two types of compliance challenges are suggested throughout this work: direct and indirect compliance challenges. Among direct compliance challenges are the treaty’s language, the existence of sanctions, and its monitoring mechanism. Indirect compliance challenges on the other hand include good governance and prosecution difficulties. Although the UNCAC innovates in many respects, it is argued that it also suffers from weaknesses that cannot be overlooked, preventing it from having a real impact on States’ behavior.

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