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2021The Legal 500 Bribery & Corruption Country 2021 Comparative Guide

June 2, 2021
We participated in the Bribery & Corruption Law Argentina chapter published by The Legal 500. The chapter provides insight about the current issues affecting bribery & corruption practice and upcoming challenges for companies and legal professionals.

 

Earlier this year we also participated in the Legal 500 publication on Bribery & Corruption in Argentina. You can read it here.

 

  • What is the legal framework (legislation/regulations) governing bribery and corruption in your jurisdiction?

Bribery and corruption are criminalized for individual persons in the Argentine Criminal Code (“ACC”), Title XI (“Crimes against the public administration”). Legal persons’ criminal liability for bribery and corruption offenses is established in Law 27,401. Also relevant are the Law N° 25. 188 on Public Ethics, Executive Decree N° 1179/ 2016 on Gifts to Public Officials, the Anticorruption Office’s Resolution 18 E/2017, further regulating gifts and hospitality to public officials, Law No. 27. 504 on Political Financing, and the Anticorruption Office’s “Integrity Guidelines to better comply with articles 22 and 23 of Law 27. 401 of Legal Persons’ Criminal Liability”, and “Guidance for the Implementation of Integrity Programs at Small and Medium Sized Enterprises”.

 

  • Which authorities have jurisdiction to investigate and prosecute bribery in your jurisdiction?

The main enforcement authorities are the Public Prosecutor’s Office (Public Ministry of the Prosecution; or “MPF” for its acronym in Spanish), as well as investigative magistrates, in charge of the investigation stage of the criminal procedure, and criminal courts, esponsible for adjudication. Besides, both the Prosecutor’s Office of Administrative Investigations (“Procuraduría de Investigaciones Administrativas”, or “PIA”, for its acronym in Spanish) within the MPF, and the Anti-Corruption Office (“Oficina Anticorrupción”, or “OA”, for its acronym in Spanish), an administrative agency within the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights of the Executive Branch, are empowered to investigate and participate in the prosecution of bribery and corruption offenses. Argentina is a federal country. The federal government co-exists with 24 districts, comprised of 23 provinces and the autonomous city of Buenos Aires. By constitutional design, the provincial governments keep authority over criminal procedure law, so the procedural model varies across the country.

Federal offences (including bribery and corruption offenses, among other economic crimes) are subject to federal jurisdiction, whereas criminal investigation is still in charge of an investigative magistrate, who has the power to delegate this task to a prosecutor –an inquisitorial-oriented procedural model. A new Federal Criminal Procedure Code establishing an adversarial model, in which prosecutors investigate under a judge’s control and adjudication, was approved by Congress in 2018. However, its implementation will be gradual –it has entered into force in two provinces (Salta, and Jujuy), and will be enforced in the remaining provinces according to a 5-to7-years calendar. In these guidelines, when we refer to criminal procedure law we always refer to federal criminal procedure law.

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