n Transactions of the Centre for Business Law - Fighting public officer and corporate crimes

Volume 2001, Issue 33
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Public officer and corporate crimes inhibit economic growth and social and economic development in a country, and bring suffering and political instability. Corporate crimes can affect even strong economies like that of Australia; but a climate of public officer crime can decimate a country's wealth and jeopardise its social and economic development as evidenced generally in Africa, e.g. Ghana and to some extent South Africa. The paper contrasts the political history of Ghana with more established democratic countries like the UK and Australia which have embedded in their political, social and economic systems checks and balances which promote accountability in high places. These checks and balances include a vigilant press and a savvy electorate. In other newly independent countries - Botswana and Singapore - economies and living circumstances have flourished through accountable and efficient leadership in the corporate and public spheres. Suggestions are made toward greater accountability in these sectors, including inculcation of the UN Code of Conduct for Public Officials 1996, democratic accountability, popular involvement in fighting public officer crimes, social and economic reform, pro-active policing of corporate conduct, adequate funding and resources to regulatory bodies, heavy prison terms for corporate criminals, and encouragement of whistle-blowing.

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