Central Asian Yearbook of International Law and International Relations


Obligation to Combat Corruption as Erga Omnes Obligation in Customary International Law and Jus Cogens

Keywords International Anticorruption Law, international responsibility, jus cogens
Authors Sultan Sakhariyev
Author's information

Sultan Sakhariyev
Sultan Sakhariyev has graduated from KIMEP University School of Law in Almaty, Kazakhstan with LLM degree (Cum Laude) in International Law. After graduation, Sultan Sakhariyev has been practicing law in international consulting companies and law firms, where Mr. Sakhariyev had to represent clients’ interests before state authorities. Mr. Sakhariyev also gained extensive experience in litigation and in criminal proceedings.
  • Abstract

      In the era of globalization, international trade and cooperation, the era of human rights, rule of law and equality as universal values of the civilized world, corruption is most inimical to the peaceful and sustainable development of mankind. This article deals with the nature of corruption under international law and suggests possible solutions to the issue of corruption on the international level.
      Corruption in any form amounts to material or procedural deviations from norms of law that lead to unpredictable behavior of all subjects of law, chiefly all state bodies, and thus states. This unpredictability is an obstacle to international trade, investments, migration, tourism, protection of human rights, cooperation, etc.
      This article studies the most recent scholarly works and analyzes, from a comparative perspective, the general features of corruption, anticorruption laws of several states with different legal systems, demonstrating that the notion of corruption has common features in different nations and cultures and in different international conventions, such as the United Nations Convention against Corruption.
      The article also studies the nature of states’ obligation to combat corruption as an obligation under customary international law, as obligation erga omnes, and as the jus cogens norm. A separate section is devoted to the study of a nonrecognized human right to freedom from corruption.
      The aim of the article is to explore the possibility of creating international tools of joint combat on corruption in a given specific state through the recognition of the erga omnes nature of the obligation to combat corruption.
      Provided that all states have an ipso facto positive obligation to combat corruption, we may look at this obligation from the point of view of state responsibility for its violation.
      As corruption damages the state mechanism and results in the state’s inefficiency in performing its tasks, both in domestic and foreign affairs, corruption in one state leads to complications for all other states in matters related to this one state. And in a globalized world the scale of such complications is enormous.
      Thus, the perception of the obligation to combat corruption as obligation erga omnes is valid and leads to the necessity of creating effective international tools to combat corruption and to bring states to international responsibility for ineffective or hypocritical combat on corruption to the specified extent. Finally, the article examines the existing international mechanisms of cooperative combat of corruption on the international level.

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