US Anti-Corruption Legal Framework (LAW-865-001)
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From its founding to the present, the United States has evolved a comprehensive body of laws and institutions intended to promote government transparency and accountability and to counter bribery and other forms of corruption. Recent events have revealed weaknesses in this system and the limits of the law when long-standing ethical norms and practices are not followed.
This course explores key U.S. constitutional provisions, laws, regulations, and institutions – as well as voluntary norms and practices -- intended to foster transparency and integrity and to prevent and sanction corruption in the public sector. It will analyze U.S. criminal laws, including on bribery and money laundering; preventive measures to promote transparency and accountability, such as ethics standards, access to information and whistleblower protection; the role of the courts; and, relatively problematic areas, such as conflicts of interest and political finance.
Textbooks and Other Materials
The textbook information on this page was provided by the instructor. Students should use this information when considering purchases from the AU Campus Store or other vendors. Students may check to determine if books are currently available for purchase online.
Course materials are varied, drawing on laws, regulations, cases, policy papers, and other widely consulted reference materials. Required readings for each class are listed below. They are either available online or are posted to the course website. Where links are problematic, please search using the document title. Please contact the professor should you encounter difficulty in accessing documents.
Reading assignments may be modified, so please check the website closer to the date of class.
First Class Readings
- U.S. Constitution, art. I, §§6, cl. 2 (Ineligibility Clause) and 9 cl. 8 (Foreign Emoluments Clause) and art. II, §1, cl. 7 (Domestic Emoluments Clause), https://constitutioncenter.org/interactive-constitution/full-text
- Inspectors General Act of 1978, available at https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/5a/compiledact-95-452 (Focus on sections 2, 4 and 6)
- 18 U.S.C. §207, Restrictions on former officers, employees, and elected officials of the executive and legislative branches, available at https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/207 (Focus on (a)(1) and (a)(2))
- 18 U.S.C. §§208, Acts affecting a personal financial interest, available at https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/208 (Focus on (a)) and 216, Penalties and injunctions, available at https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/216
- Whistleblower Protection Act, as amended, 5 U.S.C. §2302(a) and (b)(8)-(9), available at https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/5/2302
- Michael A. Foster and Kevin J. Hickey, Congressional Research Service, The Emoluments Clauses and the Presidency: Background and Recent Developments, Report No. 45992 (November 5, 2019), https://crsreports.congress.gov/product/pdf/R/R45992
- Kevin J. Hickey and Michael A. Foster, Congressional Research Service, The Emoluments Clauses of the U.S. Constitution (updated January 27, 2021), https://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/IF11086.pdf
- 5 C.F.R. Part 2635 – Standards of Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch, https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/5/part-2635 (Focus on Subpart A: 2635.101 (a) and (b))
- 45 C.F.R. § 73.735-1003 - Conflicts of interest statutes, https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/45/73.735-1003
- Richard W. Painter, Ethics and Government Lawyering in Current Times, 47 HOFSTRA LAW REVIEW 965 (2019), https://www.hofstralawreview.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/cc.1.painter.pdf
- Andrew McCanse Wright, Executive Privilege and Inspectors General, 97 TEXAS LAW REVIEW 1295 (2019), available at https://texaslawreview.org/executive-privilege-and-inspectors-general/
- Bennett L Gershman, Constitutionalizing Ethics, 38 Pace Law Review 40 (2017), https://digitalcommons.pace.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1956&context=plr
Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar and Matthew C. Stephenson, Taming Systemic Corruption: The American Experience and its Implications for Contemporary Debates, Harvard Public Law Working Paper No. 20-29 (revised December 3, 2020), available at https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3686821
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