Sudan Democracy First Group

The Legal Framework for an Effective Sudanese Anti-corruption Commission



Corruption is a global phenomenon, and is one of the challenges facing many countries. Sudan is one of these countries affected by corruption and is seen as one of the countries in which corruption prevails. According to the Corruption Perceptions Index issued by Transparency International, Sudan was ranked 172 out of 180 in 2019, scoring only 16 points on the index out of 100 to be classified as one of the most corrupt countries. This index ranks countries according to perceived levels of corruption in the public sector, based on the statements of experts and businessmen. Sudan has ratified the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) on September 5th, 2014.


However, anti-corruption efforts in Sudan do not appear to be sufficient to combat corruption prevalent in all local, state and federal levels, which is spread in various sectors. Recently, some attempts to establish a national anti-corruption body were undertaken, the law on the National Commission for Transparency, Integrity and Combat of Corruption (2016) was approved, which provides for the goals, functions and powers of the Commission.

It also identified a group of acts and deemed them a kind of corrupt practices. However, Sudan’s ranking on the global corruption perceptions indicators did not improve with these measures that seemed to many to be sham rather than actual measures intended to combat corruption. This paper aims to clarify the legal framework required to establish anti-corruption body that is able to do its job efficiently, and to clarify whether the current laws in Sudan are sufficient to form a legal framework that prevents corruption and is able to address the various acts that the United Nations Convention against Corruption makes it a must of sates to criminalize, and the acts that international experience in the fight against corruption has shown the need to ban. This paper sheds light at the outset on the definition of corruption, its types, and its causes. Then it shows the position of anti-corruption bodies vis-à-vis the institutions that make up the national integrity system pillars. Then it addresses the functions of the bodies, and the different models and styles they have, and the role they can play, and addresses then some of the reasons and the factors underlying the success of anti-corruption bodies, such as the need to coordinate with other government institutions, and the need for their independence.


Since the independence of the bodies is of importance, the paper reviews in details the methods of appointment of the leaders and members of anti-corruption bodies, and eligibility criteria to fill positions in them. It then briefly addresses the necessity for anti-corruption bodies to do what their tasks require, in terms of fighting corruption within the framework of what human rights principles and conventions allow. Then the paper deals with the extent to which the 1991 Criminal Law complies with the articles of the United Nations Convention against Corruption, which require the criminalization of some acts.


Definition of Corruption

Corruption is defined in various ways, all of which lack certain aspects as there is no complete, comprehensive definition therefor. It is very difficult to find a definition that includes and encompasses all forms of corruption and its types, even if that does not preclude identifying cases of corruption. So it was said that, despite the difficult description of corruption, it can be recognized when encountered. The World Bank uses the most common definition of corruption, which defines corruption as “the misuse of public power to achieve a private interest”. Talking about public authority in this definition does not include corruption in the private sector.


Transparency International defines corruption as “an abuse of entrusted power for private gain”. Given this definition, it can accommodate a wide range of actions, yet it is based on the three specific elements in» misuse”, “authority entrusted” and» private gains”, which may mean precluding certain behaviors that should be considered as corruption. For example, the use, or abuse of a power that is unlawfully sought and not delegated to a person can lead to corruption. The interest may not be specific to the person himself. Although there is no generally agreed definition of corruption, there is agreement that there are different forms of corruption. Corruption includes many types of practices such as bribery, extortion, favoritism, misuse of information, and abuse of discretion powers.

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