Updated: Feb 20, 2019
With the festive season upon us, we are excited to share our latest newsletter! But first, a few reflections on 2018: since the formal launch event for the TIPS Network in February 2018, there has been much to celebrate in what the nascent TIPS Network has already accomplished.
We have grown to a be volunteer network of more than 120 members. Many thanks to all of you who continue to be keen advocates for the network!
We have educated more than 100 students on five university campuses on the effects of Corruption in the Modern World. More presentations are being planned for 2019, but – as ever – if you would like to help organise or be involved with a future TIPS presentation, please do get in touch.
We have hosted or promoted six TIPS or TIPS affiliate events for your own education on TI-UK’s work and on specific issues relating to the anti-corruption and transparency agenda. If you see any events that you believe will be of interest and relevance to the TIPS Network in the future, please do share the details.
We have hosted our inaugural TIPS networking drinks, which was received with great enthusiasm – the TIPS team is working on the details of a similar event in January 2019.
1. TIPS Affiliate Event | TI-UK 2018 Anti-Corruption Lecture | Summary
On 12 December, a number of TIPS Members attended TI-UK’s Annual Anti-Corruption Lecture, a speech and Q&A delivered by Bill Browder on Kleptocracy: London and its enabling role in spreading global corruption.
Want to better understand how “this country is levitating on a sea of dirty money”? Read the full transcript of and/or watch his speech here.
It was a hugely engaging evening, with Mr Browder stating that “the laws aren’t the problem; the law enforcers are.” The theme of more aggressive enforcement from the relevant regulatory bodies was a common theme in his remarks.
Many thanks to TI-UK for extending an early invitation to this event for TIPS Members!
2. Presentations and Outreach | University of Nottingham | Summary
On 29 November, Adam Bakran gave a presentation to the PPE Society at the University of Nottingham. The audience was fully engaged, listening and discussing related topics for two hours, with students from both law and non-law disciplines in attendance – and also a surprise visit from a TI-UK trustee!
Many thanks to Adam Bakran for arranging this event!
3. Presentations and Outreach | LSE | Summary
On 15 November, Melanie Shim and James Ford gave a presentation to the LSE Business and Finance Guild. There were more than 30 attendees from a range of disciplines including economics, finance and law.
This presentation brought together a very international audience that took particular interest in unexplained wealth orders and the challenges of modern slavery all around the world – in Pakistan, Angola, the Seychelles and elsewhere.
Many thanks to Melanie Shim for arranging this event!
4. TIPS Networking Drinks | The Hydrant | Summary
On 8 November, around 30 TIPS Members attended our first TIPS networking drinks. It was great to see so many of you and to hear about the enthusiasm for networking drinks in the future.
The TIPS team is in the process of organising the next TIPS networking drinks in January 2019 – watch this space!
5. TIPS Affiliate Event | Unavoidable: Tackling the Ethics of Taxation | Summary
On 5 November 2018, a number of members of the TIPS Network attended an engaging seminar analysing the ethical issues surrounding tax avoidance hosted by the Professional Ethics Network is hosting an event.
The distinctions made between tax evasion, tax avoidance and tax planning lent themselves to an interesting discussion as to companies’ responsibilities as part of the anti-corruption agenda. For example, do companies have an ethical responsibility to hold themselves to a higher standard than prescribed by law?
Thanks again to Jasmine Elliott for bringing this event to our attention!
6. Other items that may be of interest
UK Anti-Corruption Strategy 2017-2022 – year one update: HM Government has published the Year 1 Update of the UK’s Anti-Corruption Strategy 2017-22. The strategy seeks to provide a framework to guide UK government anti-corruption policies and actions, as well as a focus on economic crime. In particular, pages 14-16 focus on the UK as an international finance centre and the steps taken to date to (inter alia) improve transparency, embolden law enforcement agencies and enhance AML and CTF capabilities. Read the full report here.
Atkin Lecture – Misconduct in Public Office: following on from the theme of Jeremy Horder’s lecture on this same topic earlier this year, Lord Justice Bean, a justice of appeal and former chairman of the Law Commission, delivered remarks on the reform of the offence of misconduct in public office at the Reform Club on 6 November. His comments highlighted the absurdities and potential pitfalls in reform and reflected that there is no offence of 'being so naughty that a jury thinks you should be sent to prison' – and that perhaps there does not need to be. Read the full speech here. Many thanks to Joseph Sinclair for bringing this to our attention!
Investigative Blog – the Bellingcat Investigative team is an award-winning group of volunteers and full time investigators who make up the core of the Bellingcat's investigative efforts. With a tag as “the home of online investigations”, they have recently posted information relating to Italy’s arms trade, the Kerch Strait incident between Ukraine and Russia and alleged chemical attacks in Syria. See their report revealing the identity of the second Skripal poisoning suspect here. Many thanks to Sam Eastwood for bringing this to our attention!