Brief overview of the law and enforcement regime

The Cayman Islands' Anti-Corruption Law (2018 Revision) (the "Law") came into force on 1 January 2010 with the intent of giving effect to the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Offi cials in International Business Transactions, as well as the United Nations Convention Against Corruption. The Law replaced the provisions relating to anti-corruption and bribery which previously existed under the Penal Code, and provides generally for four categories of corruption offences: Bribery (both domestic and foreign); Fraud on the Government; Abuses of Public or Elected Offi ce; and Secret Commissions. There are also ancillary offences for failure to report an offence.

The Law also created the Anti-Corruption Commission (the "Commission"), which oversees the administration of the Law. The Commission comprises the Commissioner of Police, the Complaints Commissioner, the Auditor General, and two 'appointed members' selected by the Governor from retired members of legal practice, law enforcement or the judiciary.


The key bribery offences under the Law are:

  1. Bribery of public officers and elected members of the Cayman Islands Legislative Assembly

    It is an offence for a (Cayman Islands) public officer1 or member of the Legislative Assembly ("LA") to, directly or indirectly, solicit, accept or obtain (or agree to accept or obtain) for themselves or another person, any loan, reward, advantage or benefit (an "improper payment") with the intent to interfere with the administration of justice; procure or facilitate an offence; or protect an offender from detection or punishment. It is also an offence for any person to give or offer an improper payment to a public officer, or member of the LA, with such intent. The penalty for bribery of a Cayman Islands public officer or member of the LA under the Law is imprisonment for a term of 14 years.
  2. Bribery of foreign public officer

    It is also an offence if any person, in order to obtain or retain an advantage in the course of business, directly or indirectly promises, gives or offers, or agrees to give or offer, an improper payment to a foreign public officer,2 save where such improper payment is either:

    1. permitted or required under the laws of the applicable foreign country or organisation; or
    2. was made to pay the reasonable expenses incurred in good faith by, or on behalf of, the foreign public offi cer that are directly related to:
      1. the promotion, demonstration or explanation of the person's products or services; or
      2. the execution or performance of a contract between the person and the foreign country for which the offi cer performs duties or functions.

The penalty for bribery of a foreign public offi cer under the Law is imprisonment for a term of up to 14 years.

Where money is paid to a foreign public offi cer, the Law provides that such payment is not considered an improper payment to obtain or retain an advantage in the course of business if it meets the criteria for a facilitation payment (see section below, 'Law and policy relating to issues such as facilitation payments and hospitality', for further detail).

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