Anti-corruption regulation—Switzerland—Q&A guide

The following Corporate Crime practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Anti-corruption regulation—Switzerland—Q&A guide
  • 1. To which international anti-corruption conventions is your country a signatory?
  • 2. Identify and describe your national laws and regulations prohibiting bribery of foreign public officials (foreign bribery laws) and domestic public officials (domestic bribery laws).
  • 3. Can a successor entity be held liable for violations of foreign and domestic bribery laws by the target entity that occurred prior to the merger or acquisition?
  • 4. Is there civil and criminal enforcement of your country’s foreign and domestic bribery laws?
  • 5. Can enforcement matters involving foreign or domestic bribery be resolved through plea agreements, settlement agreements, prosecutorial discretion or similar means without a trial? Is there a mechanism for companies to disclose violations of domestic and foreign bribery laws in exchange for lesser penalties?
  • 6. Describe the elements of the law prohibiting bribery of a foreign public official.
  • 7. How does your law define a foreign public official, and does that definition include employees of state-owned or state-controlled companies?
  • 8. To what extent do your anti-bribery laws restrict providing foreign officials with gifts, travel expenses, meals or entertainment?
  • 9. Do the laws and regulations permit facilitating or ‘grease’ payments to foreign officials?
  • More...

Anti-corruption regulation—Switzerland—Q&A guide

This Practice Note contains a jurisdiction-specific Q&A guide to anti-corruption regulation in Switzerland published as part of the Lexology Getting the Deal Through series by Law Business Research (published: March 2021).

Authors: Schellenberg Wittmer—Paul Gully-Hart; Peter Burckhardt; Sandra Oberson; Nina Lumengo Paka

1. To which international anti-corruption conventions is your country a signatory?

Switzerland is a signatory of the following international conventions relating, in whole or in part, to combating corruption:

  1. the Council of Europe Convention on Laundering, Search, Seizure and Confiscation of the Proceeds from Crime of 8 November 1990;

  2. the Organisation for the Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions of 21 November 1997;

  3. the Council of Europe Criminal Law Convention on Corruption of 27 January 1999 as well as its Additional Protocol of 15 May 2003; and

  4. the United Nations Convention against Corruption of 31 October 2003.

Switzerland has made reservations to most of the above conventions.

In addition to international multilateral conventions, Switzerland has signed bilateral treaties, in particular in matters of mutual legal assistance, that contain provisions facilitating the seizure, confiscation and return of proceeds of corruption.

2. Identify and describe your national laws and regulations prohibiting bribery of foreign public officials (foreign bribery laws) and domestic public officials (domestic bribery laws).

The active and passive corruption of Swiss public officials is criminalised under

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