By Gunduz Karimov, Jamil Alizada and Rustam Gasimov (Baker & McKenzie Baku)
Principal Laws Intended to Prevent and Detect Offenses Related to Corruption
Criminal Code, 2000
Law of the Republic of Azerbaijan On Combatting Corruption, 2004
Anti-Corruption Commission of the Republic of Azerbaijan
Anti-Corruption Directorate under the General Prosecutor of the Republic of Azerbaijan
Corruption is the illicit obtaining by officials of material and other benefits, privileges and advantages through the use of their position, the status of the body they represent, their official powers, or the opportunities deriving from those statuses and powers.
Corruption also includes the engagement of those officials by individuals or entities through the illicit offering, promising or giving of the said material and other benefits, privileges and advantages.
Various Elements of Anti-Corruption Laws
- Azerbaijani law does not distinguish between public sector and commercial bribery.
- Anti-Corruption Law and the Criminal Code establish a wide list of officials who may be “subjects” of corruption offenses.
- Two types of bribery are established by the Criminal Code:
- “Passive bribery” is the solicitation or acceptance, directly or indirectly, by a public official of a material or other benefit, privilege or undue advantage for himself or herself or others in consideration for acting or refraining from acting, or providing patronage when exercising official duties.
- “Active bribery” is an offer, assurance or gift of a material or other benefit, privilege or undue advantage for himself or herself or others, directly or indirectly, to a public official for himself or herself or others in consideration for acting or refraining from acting when exercising official duties.
The Anti-Corruption Law establishes that corruption-related offenses lead to disciplinary, civil, administrative or criminal liability.
Criminal penalties include, inter alia, the following:
- For active (offering) bribes – up to eight years of imprisonment
- For passive (accepting) bribes – up to 12 years of imprisonment
Azerbaijani criminal law currently does not apply to legal entities. Although articles contemplating corporate criminal liability have been drafted and incorporated into the Criminal Code, they have not yet entered into legal force.