The Nightmare of the Board of Directors - an Unlimited Liability for Corruption. Is There a Perspective of Double Jeopardy Protection?

Imagine a scenario where two improper payments were made to a Ukrainian high ranked government official by a Swiss subsidiary of a German automotive company. Assume a director of the same Swiss subsidiary is a British national, but the payment was made through a US intermediary bank. The question is, how many prosecutions and criminal punishments can potentially result from this wrongdoing?

If you want to find out and if you'd like to know how many prison terms an executive can be punished with for a single corrupt wrongdoing, check out my recent paper "Double Jeopardy: International Protections or Liability Nightmare – can it really protect individuals and companies from multiple cross-jurisdictional fraud and corruption investigations and prosecutions?". By way of this research paper I was lucky to win an IBA scholarship and attend its yearly conference in Washington DC. Seek for upcoming scholarships from IBA, they provide great opportunities for lawyers across the globe.

Being a true believer that transparency will save the world, I would like to openly share this paper with you. I hope this will add value to those of you responsible for compliance, risk assessment and management, doing criminal defense and overseeing business sustainability. In brief, the paper touches upon two paramount legal doctrines: double jeopardy and the dual sovereignty. Analysis of both case law and legal theory allowed myself to come to a practical conclusion.

In case you are not a lawyer, quickly jump to the conclusion as all the jurisprudence and legal terminology may appear a little boring for you. Needless to say is that the paper is protected by copyright. Kindly avoid any commercial use and add the reference when quoting. Thank you.

Keep your businesses compliant, manage risks properly by incorporating ethics into your decision making, and stay tuned for more useful content at!

P.S. By way of this post I would like to announce that the authors of this blog regularly meet on Fridays to discuss primarily anticorruption compliance, both local and international. Each Friday from 6-30 to 8 pm we meet at some neat places in the city center. Please drop us a message in social media or through the website if you want to join our discussions. We would be more then happy to have you with us.

The attached article first appeared in the March 2017 issue of the Newsletter of the Anti-Corruption Committee of the Legal Practice Division of the International Bar Association (Vol 9, No 1), and is reproduced by kind permission of the International Bar Association, London, UK. © International Bar Association.


Pavlo is a regional Legal and Compliance Head with a global pharmaceutical company. He leads Legal and Compliance function in CIS & Romania as a part of Emerging Markets business region.

He got his LL.M. degree in International Business Law from Tilburg University, the Netherlands. He also graduated from Ukrainian university with a Master degree in Commercial Law.