United Nations Convention Against Corruption

United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) was adopted by the  UN General Assembly on 31 October 2003, entered into force on 14 December 2005 with 140 signatories and currently has 186 parties as of 20 June 2018.


Pakistan signed it on 9 December 2003. https://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/corruption/ratification-status.html

The Convention covers five main areas: preventive measures, criminalization and law enforcement, international cooperation, asset recovery, and technical assistance and information exchange. The Convention covers many different forms of corruption, such as bribery, trading in influence, abuse of functions, and various acts of corruption in the private sector.

Text of UNCAC  https://www.unodc.org/documents/treaties/UNCAC/Publications/Convention/08-50026_E.pdf


General provisions (Chapter I, Articles 1–4) include definitions of  “public official”, “foreign public official”, ” official of a public international organization”, “proceeds of crime”, “seizure etc”.

Chapter II includes preventive policies, such as the establishment of anti-corruption bodies and enhanced transparency in the financing of election campaigns and political parties.  The requirements made for the public sector also apply to the private sector

Criminalization and law enforcement (Chapter III, Articles 15–44)

International cooperation (Chapter IV, Articles 43–49) is most important – States are obliged to assist one another in every aspect of the fight against corruption, including prevention, investigation, and the prosecution of offenders. Cooperation takes the form of extradition, mutual legal assistance, transfer of sentences persons and criminal proceedings, and law enforcement cooperation. Cooperation in civil and administrative matters is also encouraged. Titles of Articles in this Chapter indicate the extent, as follows:

Article 43: International Cooperation

Article 44: Extradition

Article 45: Transfer of sentenced persons

Article 46: Mutual Legal Assistance

Article 47: Transfer of criminal proceedings

Article 48: Law Enforcement Cooperation

Article 49: Joint Investigations

Chapter V is on “Asset Recovery“. UNCAC establishes asset recovery as a “fundamental principle” of the Convention. The provisions on asset recovery lay a framework, in both civil and criminal law, for tracing, freezing, forfeiting and returning funds obtained through corrupt activities. The requesting state will in most cases receive the recovered funds as long as it can prove ownership. In some cases, the funds may be returned directly to individual victims. Important Articles [titles for brevity] in this chapter are:-

Article 52: Prevention and detection of transfers of proceeds of crime

Article 54: Mechanisms for recovery of property through international cooperation in confiscation

Article 55. International cooperation for purposes of confiscation

Article 57. Return and disposal of assets

Article 59. Bilateral and multilateral agreements and arrangements

Technical assistance and information exchange (Chapter VI, Articles 60–62)