Exclusivism, Inclusivism, and Pluralism in the UK Bribery Act 2010

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The purpose of this paper is to identify mechanisms by which an international obligation to prevent or punish corporate bribery can be enforced by a national law through trade relations.

The UK Bribery Act 2010 is an example of national law which enforces OECD anti‐bribery norms, with a view to effecting an institutional change in the law and morality of other countries. Taiwan is used as a case study to look at how the UK Act may achieve its intended purposes.

The paper identifies three modes of governance in the enforcement of the Act: legal exclusivism, legal inclusivism, and legal pluralism. In the mode of legal exclusivism, the Act disregards the morality of Taiwan so as to enforce the principle of transparency in trade. In the mode of legal inclusivism, the Act allows UK multinational companies to make their own “laws” so that anti‐bribery norms can be more efficiently and effectively diffused. But in the mode of legal pluralism, the Act is forced to acknowledge the law and morality of other countries (e.g. Taiwan), especially when mutual legal assistance is crucial for cross‐border investigation and prosecution.

Practical implications
Although this paper is based on an analysis of how the Act will interact with the law and morality of Taiwan, the model developed provides a lens through which one can show how an international norm enforced by a national law can function in a way that brings about institutional change in other countries.

The paper provides a new insight into how legal norms can be diffused through trade.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-187
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of International Trade Law and Policy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jun 2013


  • Bribery Act 2010
  • Corruption
  • corporate bribery
  • Trade
  • UK
  • corporate governance
  • SDG 16.5
  • Legal principles


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