1. The Honourable Society of the Inner Temple (“Inner Temple” and “the Inn”) is an Inn of Court. It is an unincorporated association with over 8,000 qualified members, including Judges, Barristers (both practising and non-practising), Pupils and Students. The Inn plays a central role in the recruitment and training of students, their Call, as well as in the training and continued professional development of established barristers; it (together with the other Inns of Court) holds the exclusive right to Call candidates to practise law at the Bar of England and Wales; and it is the employer of approximately 65 staff.
2. Bribery is a criminal offence and the Inner Temple is committed to a Policy that the Inn does not, and will not, pay bribes or offer improper inducements to anyone for any purpose, nor do we or will we, accept bribes or improper inducements.
3. Is an inducement or reward offered, promised or provided to gain personal, commercial, regulatory or contractual advantage.
4. It is a criminal offence to:
a. Give, promise to give, or offer a payment, gift or hospitality with the expectation or hope that a business advantage will be received, or to reward a business advantage already given;
b. Give, promise to give, or offer a payment, gift or hospitality to a government official, agent or representative to "facilitate" or expedite a routine procedure;
c. Accept payment from a third party that you know or suspect is offered or paid with the expectation that it will obtain a business advantage for them;
d. Accept a gift or hospitality from a third party if you know or suspect that it is offered or paid with an expectation that a business advantage will be provided by the Inn in return.
5. It is unacceptable to:
a. Retaliate against or threaten a person who has refused to commit a bribery offence or who has raised concerns under this Policy;
b. Engage in activity in breach of this Policy.
Objective of this Policy
6. This Policy provides a coherent and consistent framework to enable the Inn’s Governing Benchers, committee members and employees to understand and implement arrangements enabling compliance. In conjunction with related policies and key documents it will also enable Governing Benchers, committee members and employees to identify and effectively report a potential breach.
7. We require that all Governing Benchers, committee members and employees of the Inn, including temporary or agency staff and volunteers:
a. Act honestly and with integrity at all times and safeguard the Inn’s resources for which they are responsible;
b. Comply with the spirit, as well as the letter, of the laws and regulations of all jurisdictions in which the Inn operates, in respect of the lawful and responsible conduct of activities.
Scope of this Policy
8. This Policy applies to all of the Inn’s activities. For suppliers and related organisations, we will seek to promote the adoption of policies consistent with the principles set out in this Policy.
9. The responsibility to control the risk of bribery occurring resides at all levels and in all committees and departments.
The Inn’s commitment to action
10. The Inn commits to:
a. Setting out a clear anti-bribery policy and keeping it up to date;
b. Making all Governing Benchers, committee members and employees aware of their responsibilities to adhere to this Policy at all times;
c. Training all relevant officers and employees so that they can recognise and avoid the use of bribery by themselves and others;
d. Encouraging its Governing Benchers, committee members and employees to be vigilant and to report any suspicions of bribery, providing them with suitable channels of communication and ensuring sensitive information is treated appropriately;
e. Thoroughly investigating instances of alleged bribery and assisting police and other appropriate authorities in any resultant prosecution;
f. Taking action against any individual involved in bribery;
g. Providing information to all Governing Benchers, committee members and employees to report breaches and suspected breaches of this Policy;
Gifts and hospitality
11. Sample tokens of modest value bearing the name or insignia of the organisation giving them (for example, pens, diaries or calendars) whether given personally, or received in the post, may be retained unless they could be regarded as an inducement or reward.
12. Gifts and hospitality are not prohibited under the Bribery Act. Genuine hospitality or similar business expenditure that is reasonable and proportionate will not be caught by the Act, so you can continue to provide and receive bona fide hospitality. In the same way, ordinary, reasonable gratuities paid to or received by catering staff are not prohibited. You can continue to provide tickets to sporting events, take clients to dinner, offer gifts to clients as a reflection of your good relations, or pay for reasonable travel expenses in order to demonstrate goods or services to clients if that is reasonable and proportionate for our business, and vice versa.
13. However, any gifts or hospitality that give someone a financial or other advantage to encourage that person to perform their functions or activities improperly or to reward that person for having already done so are bribes. This could cover seeking to influence a decision-maker by giving some kind of extra benefit to that decision maker rather than by what can legitimately be offered as part of a tender process.
Benchers’, Committee Members’ and Staff responsibilities.
14. The prevention, detection and reporting of bribery and other forms of corruption are the responsibility of all those Benchers and committee members involved in the governance and management of the Inn and of those working for the Inn or under its control. This includes Benchers, committee members and employees who are involved, in their capacity with the Inn, in:
a. Any function of a public nature;
b. Any activity connected with the Inn as a business;
c. Any activity performed in the course of a person's employment by the Inn;
d. Any activity performed by or on behalf of a body of persons (whether corporate or unincorporate).
15. A person performing the function or activity is expected to perform it in good faith.
16. All Governing Benchers, committee members and staff are required to avoid activity that breaches this Policy.
17. You must:
a. Ensure that you read, understand and comply with this Policy;
b. Raise concerns as soon as possible if you believe or suspect that a conflict with this Policy has occurred, or may occur in the future;
c. As well as the possibility of civil and criminal prosecution, staff that breach this Policy will face disciplinary action, which could result in summary dismissal for gross misconduct.
18. Raising a concern
a. This Inn is committed to ensuring that all of us have a safe, reliable, and confidential way of reporting any suspicious activity. We want each and every Governing Bencher, committee member and member of staff to know how they can raise concerns.
b. We all have a responsibility to help detect, prevent and report instances of bribery. If you have a concern regarding a suspected instance of bribery or corruption, you are expected to report it in accordance with the Policy.
c. Under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1999, protection is given to those making certain “qualifying disclosures” in good faith and not for personal gain. A qualifying disclosure is any information, which in the reasonable opinion of the worker, shows a relevant failure. Relevant failures include:
i. That a criminal offence has been committed or is likely to be committed;
ii. That a miscarriage of justice has occurred, is occurring or is likely to occur;
iii. That someone has failed, is failing or is likely to fail to comply with a legal obligation to which they are subject;
d. There are multiple channels to help you raise concerns. Members and staff should contact whomever they feel is most appropriate and able to take action. In most circumstances, we would expect this to be the Treasurer or Sub-Treasurer, any member of the Finance Sub-Committee or any Head of Department.
e. There may however be circumstances where it is appropriate to raise concerns externally with a relevant professional body, regulatory organisation or the police for example. This course of action may be appropriate if the employee reasonably believes that if they make a disclosure to someone within the Inner Temple, they will be subject to a detriment, or that the evidence will be concealed or destroyed, or they have previously made a similar disclosure without action.
f. You should not raise concerns publicly, e.g. with the media or using social media like Twitter, Facebook, blogs or chatrooms.
g. Concerns may be raised anonymously and we welcome any information provided in this way. A full and prompt investigation may be easier if information is provided by named individuals but this is not mandatory. In the event that an incident of bribery, corruption or wrongdoing is reported, we will take the information seriously, investigate the allegations and take action on what we find.
h. There will be no victimisation, harassment or bullying as a result of a disclosure made under this Policy. We are committed to ensuring that nobody suffers detrimental treatment through refusing to take part in bribery or corruption, or as a result of reporting a concern in good faith.
i. Governing Benchers, committee members and staff who refuse to accept or offer a bribe, or those who raise concerns or report wrongdoing could be worried about potential repercussions. The Inn encourages openness and will support anyone who raises a genuine concern in good faith under this Policy, even if the allegations turn out to be mistaken.
If you have any questions about these procedures, please contact the Sub-Treasurer or the Collector.
The Bribery Act 2010
There are four key offences under the Act:
- Bribery of another person (Section 1)
- Accepting a bribe (Section 2)
- Bribing a foreign official (Section 6)
- Failing to prevent bribery (Section 7)
The Bribery Act 2010 (http://www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts2010/ukpga_20100023_en_1) makes it an offence to offer, promise or give a bribe (Section 1). It also makes it an offence to request, agree to, receive or accept a bribe (Section 2). Section 6 of the Act creates a separate offence of bribing a foreign public official with the intention of obtaining or retaining business or an advantage in the conduct of business. There is also a corporate offence under Section 7 of failure by a commercial organisation to prevent bribery that is intended to obtain or retain business, or an advantage in the conduct of business, for the organisation. An organisation will have a defence to this corporate offence if it can show that it had in place adequate procedures designed to prevent bribery by or of persons associated with the organisation.
An individual guilty of an offence under sections 1, 2 or 6 is liable:
- On conviction in a magistrates court, to imprisonment for a maximum term of 12 months, or to a fine not exceeding £5,000, or to both
- On conviction in a crown court, to imprisonment for a maximum term of ten years, or to an unlimited fine, or both
Organisations are liable for these fines and if guilty of an offence under section 7 are liable to an unlimited fine.
Employees will face disciplinary action if there is evidence that employees have been involved in this activity, which could result in summary dismissal for gross misconduct. Disciplinary action will be taken in addition to, or instead of, criminal proceedings, depending on the circumstances of each individual case.
Whether the procedures are adequate will ultimately be a matter for the courts to decide on a case by-case basis. Adequate procedures need to be applied proportionately, based on the level of risk of bribery. It is for individual organisations to determine proportionate procedures in the recommended areas of six principles. These principles are not prescriptive. They are intended to be flexible and outcome focussed, allowing for the different circumstances of organisations.
Small organisations will, for example, face different challenges to those faced by large multinational enterprises. The detail of how organisations apply these principles will vary, but the outcome should always be robust and effective anti-bribery procedures.
An organisation’s procedures to prevent bribery by persons associated with it need to be proportionate to the bribery risks it faces and to the nature, scale and complexity of the organisation’s activities.
They should be clear, practical, accessible, effectively implemented and enforced. and guided by the following principles:
Top level commitment
The top-level management (be it a board of directors, the owners or any other equivalent body or person) must be committed to preventing bribery by persons associated with it. They should foster a culture within the organisation in which bribery is never acceptable.
The organisation needs to assess the nature and extent of its exposure to potential external and internal risks of bribery on its behalf by persons associated with it. The assessment should be periodic, informed and documented. It should include not only financial risks but also other risks such as reputational damage.
The organisation should apply due diligence procedures, taking a proportionate and risk based approach, in respect of persons who perform or will perform services for or on behalf of the organisation, in order to mitigate identified bribery risks.
Communication (including training)
The organisation should seek to ensure that its bribery prevention policies and procedures are embedded and understood throughout the organisation through internal and external communication, including training that is proportionate to the risks it faces.
Monitoring and review
The organisation should monitor and review procedures designed to prevent bribery by persons associated with it and make improvements where necessary.
The Inner Temple is committed to the implementation of these principles.