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Corruption and Human Rights Violations

Käll, Malin (2003)
Department of Law
Abstract
In the second chapter there is a description of corruption today. First I will provide a definition of corruption. Many definitions exist, but the common criteria in these definitions are abuse of power for private gain to the detriment of public interest. After explaining the theoretical definition I will describe corruption in practice through providing different forms of corruption. Public sector corruption varies depending on the level of organization and the number of public officials within an authority that is involved in corrupt practices. Some corrupt acts by public officials are conducted without private sector involvement, but often the private sector is involved through the offering of bribes. To give a fuller understanding and... (More)
In the second chapter there is a description of corruption today. First I will provide a definition of corruption. Many definitions exist, but the common criteria in these definitions are abuse of power for private gain to the detriment of public interest. After explaining the theoretical definition I will describe corruption in practice through providing different forms of corruption. Public sector corruption varies depending on the level of organization and the number of public officials within an authority that is involved in corrupt practices. Some corrupt acts by public officials are conducted without private sector involvement, but often the private sector is involved through the offering of bribes. To give a fuller understanding and to show the importance of government action to stop corruption a general explanation of the most common causes of corruption will also be provided. After this description there is a section on measures taken by the international community to fight corruption. The OECD, the Council of Europe and the UN has been particularly progressive in developing anti-corruption conventions. The emphasis in these conventions is to make corruption a criminal act in national legislation, to establish monitoring systems and to strengthen international cooperation. These conventions play an important role, but there are also other parts of international law that is violated by corruption. Through pointing out violations of human rights law states can be held responsible at national courts and international bodies for the existence of corruption within its system. Independent of whether there has been a parallel violation of the state's obligation under any of the anti-corruption conventions. The link between corrupt acts and human rights violations is then established. Corruption is described as a series of acts which eventually ends in a human rights violation. It is also described how the state in question is to be regarded as responsible for these human rights violations. Either because corruption leads to human rights violations through acts or omissions by the corrupt public officials that are attributable to the state, or because the state is violating its obligation to protect against human rights violations committed by public officials acting in their private capacity. When faced with many different human rights violations that result from corruption one should start with making claims at national and international bodies that are likely to provide the victim with a remedy. Therefore the issue of justiciablity of human rights is discussed. Even if many economic, social and cultural rights are regarded as justiciable it is more likely that claims of violations of civil and political rights will result in a remedy and such claims should therefore be given priority. The third chapter deals with human rights violations committed directly through corruption, meaning that corruption in these cases consist of a series of acts that finally ends in a human rights violation. Categories of corruption dealt with within the different sections are: Corruption for political influence, corruption within the law enforcement system and corruption within other parts of the public sector. Corruption for political influence ends in violations of political human rights such as the right to take part in the government of your own country and the right to vote, but also in violations of more disputed human rights such as the right to democracy and the right to self-determination. The chapter regarding corruption within the law enforcement system will start with corruption within the judiciary which will lead to two different groups of human rights violations. The first group is corruption leading to violations of the right to a fair trial and violations connected to unjust judgements. The second group concerns the human rights violations that occur when human rights abusers are able to buy impunity. The police, prison staff and often the military is also a part of the law enforcement system and will be dealt with after the judiciary. These authorities are given much power that can easily be abused and end in human rights violations. Corruption within other parts of the public sector can result in a wide variety of human rights violations. Often such violations occur when individuals are denied services that they have a right to claim. In the third chapter the human rights violations that result from corruption withdrawing resources from the general public is also discussed. When money is taken from the public through taxation, without this being in the interest of the society, the right to property is being violated. Several human rights violations take place when public sector resources are not being used to fulfill human rights obligations. Dispersing public sector resources, owned commonly by the public, is also a violation of the right to property. In the last section of the third chapter I will discuss how corruption will discriminate against those who do not have financial resources to pay bribes and who do not have any political influence. The fourth chapter is dedicated to human rights violations that follow in the path of corruption. They are not necessarily a consequence of corruption, but rather frequently occur in connection to corruption. First of all violations occur as a result of the insecurity and instability that corruption creates within a society. Further a large number of human rights violations take place when corrupt officials try to hide their corrupt practices&semic in particular the right to freedom of expression and the right to information are violated in this context. It is not only the victims of corruption that risk being victims also of human rights violations. Those accused of corruption may have their human rights violated when they are being monitored, tried or having their sentences enforced. Rights at risk are primarily the right to private life and the right to a fair trial. In the conclusion I will compare the work by the different international and regional human rights bodies and establish the connection between corruption and human rights violations. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Käll, Malin
supervisor
organization
year
type
H1 - Master's Degree (One Year)
subject
keywords
International Human Rights Law
language
English
id
1554745
date added to LUP
2010-03-08 15:22:35
date last changed
2010-03-08 15:22:35
@misc{1554745,
  abstract     = {In the second chapter there is a description of corruption today. First I will provide a definition of corruption. Many definitions exist, but the common criteria in these definitions are abuse of power for private gain to the detriment of public interest. After explaining the theoretical definition I will describe corruption in practice through providing different forms of corruption. Public sector corruption varies depending on the level of organization and the number of public officials within an authority that is involved in corrupt practices. Some corrupt acts by public officials are conducted without private sector involvement, but often the private sector is involved through the offering of bribes. To give a fuller understanding and to show the importance of government action to stop corruption a general explanation of the most common causes of corruption will also be provided. After this description there is a section on measures taken by the international community to fight corruption. The OECD, the Council of Europe and the UN has been particularly progressive in developing anti-corruption conventions. The emphasis in these conventions is to make corruption a criminal act in national legislation, to establish monitoring systems and to strengthen international cooperation. These conventions play an important role, but there are also other parts of international law that is violated by corruption. Through pointing out violations of human rights law states can be held responsible at national courts and international bodies for the existence of corruption within its system. Independent of whether there has been a parallel violation of the state's obligation under any of the anti-corruption conventions. The link between corrupt acts and human rights violations is then established. Corruption is described as a series of acts which eventually ends in a human rights violation. It is also described how the state in question is to be regarded as responsible for these human rights violations. Either because corruption leads to human rights violations through acts or omissions by the corrupt public officials that are attributable to the state, or because the state is violating its obligation to protect against human rights violations committed by public officials acting in their private capacity. When faced with many different human rights violations that result from corruption one should start with making claims at national and international bodies that are likely to provide the victim with a remedy. Therefore the issue of justiciablity of human rights is discussed. Even if many economic, social and cultural rights are regarded as justiciable it is more likely that claims of violations of civil and political rights will result in a remedy and such claims should therefore be given priority. The third chapter deals with human rights violations committed directly through corruption, meaning that corruption in these cases consist of a series of acts that finally ends in a human rights violation. Categories of corruption dealt with within the different sections are: Corruption for political influence, corruption within the law enforcement system and corruption within other parts of the public sector. Corruption for political influence ends in violations of political human rights such as the right to take part in the government of your own country and the right to vote, but also in violations of more disputed human rights such as the right to democracy and the right to self-determination. The chapter regarding corruption within the law enforcement system will start with corruption within the judiciary which will lead to two different groups of human rights violations. The first group is corruption leading to violations of the right to a fair trial and violations connected to unjust judgements. The second group concerns the human rights violations that occur when human rights abusers are able to buy impunity. The police, prison staff and often the military is also a part of the law enforcement system and will be dealt with after the judiciary. These authorities are given much power that can easily be abused and end in human rights violations. Corruption within other parts of the public sector can result in a wide variety of human rights violations. Often such violations occur when individuals are denied services that they have a right to claim. In the third chapter the human rights violations that result from corruption withdrawing resources from the general public is also discussed. When money is taken from the public through taxation, without this being in the interest of the society, the right to property is being violated. Several human rights violations take place when public sector resources are not being used to fulfill human rights obligations. Dispersing public sector resources, owned commonly by the public, is also a violation of the right to property. In the last section of the third chapter I will discuss how corruption will discriminate against those who do not have financial resources to pay bribes and who do not have any political influence. The fourth chapter is dedicated to human rights violations that follow in the path of corruption. They are not necessarily a consequence of corruption, but rather frequently occur in connection to corruption. First of all violations occur as a result of the insecurity and instability that corruption creates within a society. Further a large number of human rights violations take place when corrupt officials try to hide their corrupt practices&semic in particular the right to freedom of expression and the right to information are violated in this context. It is not only the victims of corruption that risk being victims also of human rights violations. Those accused of corruption may have their human rights violated when they are being monitored, tried or having their sentences enforced. Rights at risk are primarily the right to private life and the right to a fair trial. In the conclusion I will compare the work by the different international and regional human rights bodies and establish the connection between corruption and human rights violations.},
  author       = {Käll, Malin},
  keyword      = {International Human Rights Law},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Corruption and Human Rights Violations},
  year         = {2003},
}