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Subsequently published in the Osgoode Hall Law Journal.

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Brazilian law, corruption law, anti-corruption, public law, institutional multiplicity


In Brazil’s battle against corruption over the past two decades, there has been significant progress related to systems of oversight and investigation, but very little progress in holding corrupt actors legally accountable for their transgressions. We suggest that until very recently this could be partially explained by the fact that there was institutional multiplicity (i.e. duplication of functions) in oversight and investigative institutions, while at the punishment stage, a single and underperforming institution — the judiciary — exercised monopolistic authority. To circumvent the limits associated with Brazilian courts, the government is increasingly relying on administrative sanctions for corruption. It is in this context that Brazil has enacted legislation to punish legal persons for both foreign and domestic corruption: the Clean Company Act (Lei Anti-Corrupção), enacted in August 2013, has used institutional multiplicity in an attempt to circumvent the well-known problems that plague the Brazilian anti-corruption system. We suggest that this looks promising, as it follows the same structure of recent reforms that have been successful in Brazil.

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