University of Baltimore Journal of International Law


This paper charts the development of the anti-corruption roadmap and considers whether it has been effective in South Africa. Part I begins with an overview of the FCPA, the first and most influential anticorruption law. Part II reviews the multilateral treaties and conventions that proliferated in the 1990s and early 2000s and that outline the contemporary anticorruption roadmap. Part III focuses on the efforts of South Africa to follow the roadmap, and reviews the laws and institutions it established after acceding to the instruments and treaties described in Part II. Part IV looks at what happened next, summarizing four major corruption scandals that have occurred in South Africa in recent years. Part V considers those scandals through the lens of the laws and institutions designed to prevent them, and discusses why they failed to do so. This paper does not answer the question of why corruption is so hard to eradicate. Its more modest ambition is to show that laws and institutions, standing alone, are not enough.