Yock Lin Tan, ‘Property in bribes revisited in a cross-disciplinary perspective’

Taking its point of departure from the decision of the United Kingdom Supreme Court in FHR European Ventures, this article seeks to bring cross-disciplinary perspectives to bear on the question whether an agent should hold the bribe he has received on constructive trust for his principal. Economising models are employed and the results interpreted by reference to the Calabresi and Melamed tripartite scheme of property rule, liability rule and inalienable right. The results are at least three-fold. First, an effective legal rule responding to the problem of harm caused by corruption must recognise and take account of differences between competitive and non-competitive environments and auditing or monitoring possibilities. Second, a property rule fails to do that. Third, ignoring such endogenous and exogenous variables, it overestimates or underestimates the harm suffered by victims of corruption.

Tan, Yock Lin, Property in bribes revisited in a cross-disciplinary perspective, Singapore Journal of Legal Studies, Issue Sep 2017 (Oct 2017).

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