Final Word from Wednesday, February 12, 2020



One of the greatest innovations of the pro-corruption movement was the idea that a corporation shouldn't be held liable for the criminal activity of its representatives if it has rigid corruption-prevention measures in place. At the flick of a switch, this institutionalized the well-tried practice of sending in "specialists" to do the dirty work and then using plausible denial to wash one's hands of the "bad apples" if they are caught. This principle was enshrined in Czech law by § 8 (5) of Zákon č. 418/2011 Sb. Metrostav will no doubt use this paragraph as one of its arguments when it appeals its three-year ban on public procurement for helping David Rath to rig construction jobs. Just because a few bad apples spoiled the barrel doesn't mean the barrel should be thrown out too, it will argue. Not even if one of the bad apples was the GM and a board member (Pavel Pilát)? If he were merely a bad apple, shouldn't he have been fired already? That's the way it normally works, right? [ Czech Republic court appeal ]

Glossary of difficult words

one bad apple spoils the barrel/bunch - one bad person, thing, element, etc., can ruin the entire group, situation, project, etc.;

rigid - not flexible;

plausible denial/deniability - the ability to deny blame because evidence does not exist to confirm responsibility for an action;

to enshrine - to preserve (a right, tradition or idea) in a way that ensures that it will be protected and respected.

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