Governance and Ethics: Anti-Corruption Law, Compliance, and Enforcement
Can law and regulation ensure or promote ethical behavior by political and business leaders? Recent scandals in the United States and internationally indicate that there is little correlation between anti-corruption laws and ethical conduct. This course examines the laws and regulations in the United States governing ethical conduct of public and industry officials and explores the extent to which (1) they adequately reflect the moral values of the community, (2) they reflect the principles central to a democratic government: transparency, accountability and limits of authority, and (3) they are followed and enforced. We will look at other developed countries that balance compliance with moral principles and values-based approaches to ethical conduct. We will also examine emerging global ethical standards and reporting principles and their application to emerging markets. In doing so, we will discuss how cultural, religious, and moral differences might impact the effectiveness of these standards. We will examine the role of modern corporations in fostering rule of law and how business organizations function in changing legal and regulatory environments. We will also review the role of free media, citizen groups, and the judiciary on ensuring that laws and ethical standards are followed and maintained.
The overall focus and goals of this course are (1) to foster ethical awareness, (2) to strengthen your ability to anticipate, critically analyze and respond to the complex legal, ethical and economic challenges that you may face as a lawyer, government official or a business leader, (3) to foster rigorous thinking about ethical standards, governance, and risks, and (4) to develop a decision-making process that leads to responsible conduct as in-house counsel, law firm lawyers, board members, or citizen advocates.