The term ‘corruption’ is used to describe a wide range of dishonest behaviour, including bribery, embezzlement, abuse of authority, extortion, illicit enrichment, kickbacks, and trading in influence, in addition to actions connected to, and often used to aid in the commission of, corrupt activities such as money laundering, concealment and obstruction of justice.

There is no comprehensive and universally accepted definition of corruption. An alternative approach has been to identify the acts or offences that constitute corrupt practices. In general, these acts and offences share two components: first, they involve the misuse of authority in the public or private sector in order that, second, the persons misusing the authority derive a benefit to which they are not entitled.

This report considers the constitutional frameworks and mechanisms available to prevent and reduce corruption, with particular reference to the transitional states of the Arab region. It examines what can be done to improve anti-corruption frameworks, in particular by exploring how national institutions should be coordinated to reduce the opportunities for corruption.

The report studies existing frameworks within the region, including some of the new constitutions that were drafted since 2010, as well as a large number of comparative examples from other jurisdictions, to determine what lessons exist for the broader region.


Publication date
20 August 2015
Sujit Choudhry, Richard Stacey
Number of pages
Center for Constitutional Transitions, United Nations Development Programme
978-91-87729-86-7 (Print)


About this Report



Executive Summary

1. Introduction

2. Legislatures

3. Supreme Audit Institutions

4. Specialized Anti-corruption Agencies

5. Anti-corruption Courts and Prosecutors

6. Disclosure and Transparency



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Combating Corruption: Constitutional Frameworks for the Middle East and North Africa

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