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A game-changer in the making: The pending German Corporate Sanctions Law
Due to the pandemic, the signature IBA Anti-Corruption Conference, originally scheduled for June 2020 in Paris, has not taken place. However, we did not want to miss important milestones in the overall compliance landscape. While the long overdue new German Corporate Sanctions Law might not become the next United States Foreign Corrupt Practices Act or United Kingdom Bribery Act, this legislative initiative will significantly change the compliance landscape for German companies, as well as international corporations with business interests in or with the country.

On 22 April 2020, the German Federal Ministry of Justice presented a new draft bill to strengthen integrity in business. The final draft bill of the new Associations Sanctions Act (Verbandssanktionengesetz) was sent into the alignment stage with the federal states, as well as public associations and interest groups, until 12 June 2020. The Federal Government turned the draft bill with very minor changes on 16 June 2020 into the present government bill and on 18 September 2020 the Federal Assembly (Bundesrat) passed this initiative – however under fierce criticism and requiring significant changes in the next and last stage of legislation, i.e. the Federal Parliament (Bundestag).

Despite – or rather because of – the current pandemic, the introduction of the latest version of the proposed Associations Sanctions Act remains a major initiative in Germany. In the legal community, it has been dubbed ‘arguably [the] most incisive law of the last decades’. Unlike the new German Corporate Due Diligence in Supply Chains Act, which was passed on 11 June 2021, the fiercely debated Associations Sanctions Act could not be passed prior to the German parliamentary break starting on 28 June 2021. On 26 September 2021, federal elections will take place in Germany and political parties have included a commitment towards a new legal regime for corporate misconduct in their respective electoral programmes.

Jul 28, 2021 01:00 PM in London

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