The World Bank estimates that up to $40 billion is stolen from developing countries every year through high-level corruption and hidden overseas.
Only a small fraction of these assets are recovered and returned to those directly harmed by the corruption. Despite demonstrating political will to address the problem of asset return, the UK has no specific legislation enabling the repatriation of confiscated assets. This paper, published by The White Collar Crime Centre, a pro bono initiative of Bright Line Law, considers the case for law reform in this area and explores a range of available models. It ultimately calls for a legislative framework that would mandate and govern the return of stolen assets by the UK.
The White Collar Crime Centre is grateful to Lily Nunweek, a New Zealand lawyer, LLM graduate from the London School of Economics and the Centre’s Research Associate in 2020 for authoring the piece.