The Pandora Papers provide the most comprehensive look yet into the sprawling transnational networks that allow corrupt public officials and economic elite to launder and hide their illicit assets everywhere from the British Virgin Islands to Washington, D.C. The investigation shows that wealthy countries need to do far more to clean up the fiscal paradises they provide for kleptocrats, including by regulating professional enablers such as trust companies in South Dakota in the United States and real estate agents in London. U.S. lawmakers introduced legislation this week to do just that on the national-level. The global scale of the problem that the 11.9 million leaked confidential files from 14 financial service providers implicating public figures from over 90 countries demonstrates there is also the urgent need for a new international institution to hold kleptocrats and their professional enablers accountable.
In 1945, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson gave a speech to the American Society of International Law (ASIL) that became a roadmap for the creation of the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg. The tribunal, which fairly and effectively tried alleged Nazi war criminals, itself became the foundation for international courts to enforce international criminal law, ensuring that guilty individuals can be held accountable for their crimes. At the outset of his address, Justice Jackson said to the assembled international lawyers,
You are aware of the confusions, of the incompleteness, of the lack of ordinary sanctions, and of all that might be said in criticism of international law. Yet you are here . . . to reiterate your inveterate belief that international law . . . offers the only hopeful foundation for an organized community of nations.1
Justice Jackson was referring to the then-urgent need to prosecute perpetrators of war crimes and crimes against humanity. Today, his words are equally applicable to the urgent need to create an effective means to prosecute the perpetrators of grand corruption: that is, an International Anti-Corruption Court (IACC).
Grand corruption—the abuse of public office for private gain by a nation’s leaders (kleptocrats)—is a major barrier to meeting the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals, responding effectively to pandemics, fighting climate change, promoting democracy and human rights, establishing international peace and security, and securing a more just, rules-based global order.2 Grand corruption does not endure due to a lack of anti-corruption laws. One hundred and eighty-one countries are party to the UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC), which requires them to have laws criminalizing varying forms of corruption.3 However, corrupt Heads of State and Government, and many other corrupt senior government officials, are able to commit their crimes with impunity in their own countries because they control the police, prosecutors, and courts.
At present, there is no international institution to hold kleptocrats accountable for their crimes of corruption when the countries they rule are unwilling or unable to do so. An IACC would, therefore, fill the crucial enforcement gap in the international framework for combatting grand corruption. It would constitute a fair and effective forum for the prosecution and punishment of kleptocrats and their collaborators; deter others tempted to emulate their example; and recover, repatriate, and repurpose ill-gotten gains for the victims of grand corruption.
The so-called “national dialogue” in Egypt had little to do with its glamorous title. It is neither a dialogue nor a national matter. Instead, it is a state-sponsored speaker series with an ever-extending time frame, carefully designed to co-opt weak but vocal opposition to President al-Sisi and to improve Cairo’s tarnished image in the West.
How the Egyptian Navy was transformed from struggling to barely survive on old and rusty equipment and devout, but modestly educated, personnel to an advanced and well-equipped naval force, that is ranked among the top ten worldwide, in a matter of five years?
The Middle East needs to get prepared for dealing with the dire aftermath of US withdrawal from the region. The tragic scenes, at Kabul Airport, of Afghan people clinging to the wheels of the American warplanes to escape Taliban’s hell are nothing compared to the miseries expected to emerge after the US withdrawal from Syria and Iraq, which may happen sooner than we expect. Unfortunately, the future of the Middle East region appears to be dark and messy. Yet, there still a chance for Middle East countries to take a unified action to minimize the scale of unforeseen damages.
Exploring the dimensions of the relationship between Egypt and the United States and its impact on improving human rights conditions and liberal democratization in general, in addition to influencing the course of events on regional conflicts.
This paper discusses the potential of the Egyptian economy in light of withdrawing the military institution from market competition and how this is going to impact the democratization process in general.
This paper analyzes the roots of the chronic political and socio-economic crises that kept the Egyptian economy suffering for seven decades.
This situation report analyzes why the Mulsim Brotherhood failed to keep their presidential seat in Egypt in 2012 and why they continued to fail as a group after the fall of their regime in Egypt and Tunisia
Popular support for media freedom – a majority view just three years ago – is now in the minority, exceeded…