Open Access

Criminalization of the Promise and Offer to Give or Accept a Bribe as a Completed Criminal Offense: Compliance with the Ultima ratio Principle


As the processes of globalization become more intense, the legislation adopted by international institutions occupies an increasingly important place in national criminal law, including crimes related to corruption. However, the regulation of some acts of corruption, in the context of sustainable development, raises questions about its compliance with criminal law principles. This article examines the requirements of international law to criminalize a promise and offer to give or accept a bribe in national law, recognizing that criminalization of such actions as completed criminal offense potentially violates the principle of ultima ratio. The article demonstrates that there is no unequivocal conclusion from international law that states must provide for liability for all acts of bribery as a completed criminal act. In order to implement the principle of ultima ratio, criminal liability for acts consisting essentially in the preparation or attempt to pay a bribe should not be enshrined in the same paragraph as bribery, where the bribe is exchanged by hand.

Publication timeframe:
2 times per year
Journal Subjects:
Law, other, History, Philosophy and Sociology of Law