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Being bribed (Section 2)

  • A person requests, agrees to receive or accepts a financial or other advantage intending that a function or activity should be performed improperly as a result, whether by himself or another person (case 3);
  • A person requests, agrees to receive or accepts a financial or other advantage which in itself constitutes the improper performance of a function or activity by him (case 4);
  • A person requests, agrees to receive or accepts a financial or other advantage as a reward for the improper performance of a function or activity (case 5);
  • Where, in anticipation or as a result of a person requesting, agreeing to receive or accepting a financial or other advantage ("the person being bribed"), a function is performed improperly, whether by the person being bribed, by someone else at the request of the person being bribed or with the agreement or acquiescence of the person being bribed (case 6).

Further points to note

  • Facilitation payments will be caught.
  • Corporate hospitality payments may be caught if the requisite intent is shown.
  • The bribe does not have to be monetary.
  • The offence does not apply only to public officials being bribed.
  • In all four cases, it does not matter whether it is the recipient or someone else through whom he/she acts, who requests, agrees to receive or accepts the advantage.
The "function" or "activity" in question includes any function of a public nature or any activity connected with a business, trade or profession. This also covers activities by or on behalf of any corporate or unincorporated body or performed in the course of employment.
The function or activity does not need to have any connection to the UK and may be committed in the UK or abroad.
Not every irregular performance engages the law of bribery. There must be improper performance, i.e. it must be shown that the person performing the function/ activity has breached an expectation that he/she will perform it:
  • In good faith;
  • Impartially or
  • In accordance with a position of trust.
This is the objective element, in that the test of what is expected, is a test of what a reasonable person in the UK would expect in relation to the performance of the type of function or activity concerned. Where the performance is not subject to the law of any part of the UK, local custom or practice is to be disregarded in determining what a reasonable person would expect, unless it is permitted or required by the written law of the country or territory concerned (this includes judicial decisions published in writing). 

In cases 4 to 6, it does not matter whether the person being bribed, knows or believes that the performance of the function or activity is improper. Arguably, this will make the offence of being bribed much easier to establish than that of offering a bribe.
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bribe another person