The Bribery Act 2010 was given Royal Assent in April 2010 and will come into force on 1 July 2011.
The act makes it an offence for a United Kingdom (UK) citizen or resident to pay or receive a bribe, either directly or indirectly. The act provides for transactions that take place in the UK and abroad, and both in the public and private sectors. Companies and partnerships can also commit an offence where a bribe has been paid on their behalf by an associate. Associates include employees, agents and other persons providing services on behalf of the corporate entity. However, it is a defence to have adequate procedures in place to prevent bribery.
Being the most populous black country in the world, with a growing economic strength, Nigeria is in a pivotal position to becoming the lead country in Africa in terms of inward investment.
As the world is fast turning into a global village where international commerce and international trade relations is being carried out across state boundaries, it is inevitable that there would be disputes and disagreements arising out of contractual relations between private and corporate investors, as well as between States. Litigation has always been the traditional means of dispute resolution for private, domestic or international conflict. Unfortunately, the underlying nature of litigation is adversarial and this has led to a breakdown of relations between litigants. Innovative means of resolving disputes have been recommended and developed, in a bid to maintain international trade relations and encourage investors across state boundaries and as a result international commercial arbitration has since rapidly become the favoured option for such parties.