Website is currently under development. Thank You
In the Going to Court section of this website we provide an outline of the way in which you can seek to prove your case, how you may be able to finance the court action, how you may be able to get help from lawyers and others, and how you may be able to enforce the order which the Court may grant at the end of the legal action.
The discussion of these issues in the Going to Court section of this website is in general terms – in other words, it does not specifically concern court actions in relation to corruption. In this section of the website, we will assume that you have already read these general materials, and we will instead explain the specific procedural questions that arise in relation to corruption cases.
As we explain in the Going to Court section of the website, if you are planning to commence a court action, you will be responsible for producing evidence before the court to show that the defendant committed the acts you have complained of, and the consequences of those actions. You will also need to show that the defendant is responsible for the harm you suffered as a result of those actions.
You will therefore need information about:
You should also consider the following points:
It will be necessary for you to obtain detailed and precise information on each of these points, so that the court can understand the situation fully.
The most important part of the evidence that you will need to produce in the court action is the evidence of the wrongdoer’s corrupt intent. In other words, you will need to demonstrate in clear terms that the wrongdoer was motivated by the desire to make a private gain out of the misuse of a public position.
This will often be difficult, because it involves obtaining evidence of someone’s state of mind in relation to and act or decision about which they may well feel sensitive.
You will want to consider carefully at an early stage what evidence there is of corrupt intent. Without persuasive evidence of this, it will often be difficult to pursue a court action successfully.
PRACTICAL TIPS: You may find it helpful to make a list of all of the points that you will need to prove, and to collect together all of the evidence that you currently have on each of these points.
Some of this evidence will be in the form of documents and photographs, some of it will be held on computer, and some of it may be in the oral recollections that people involved in the offence have told you. (Keeping all of this evidence safe is important, as we explain in the Going to Court section of the website.)
Once you have made this list, and you have collected the evidence which you currently have in your possession, you will then be able to understand what further evidence or information you need to obtain before you launch your court claim.
For the reasons explained in the previous section, eight Will be very important for you to identifying information that you need for your playing, and two obtain it in as much detail as possible. This may take you some time to do, out you should not be concerned about this: spending time making sure that you have all the evidence you will need is one of the most important things you can do in preparing to ring court litigation.
In the section of this website on Rights to Information we discuss the ways in which you can obtain information from government, from state authorities, from companies and other entities in relation to issues that affect you. We recommend that you have a look at that guidance, because it may surprise you to discover how much information can be obtained in this way.
If you are thinking of bringing a court action in relation to corrupt acts or decisions, you will need to obtain as much information about the act or decision as possible. The laws in your country that govern access to information may well enable you to do this. In many countries, citizens have a right to demand information from the state about decisions affecting such matters as the expenditure of public monies, and the award of permissions, concessions, public contracts and other commitments.
PRACTICAL TIPS: Often you will be able to obtain the name of the public official or body which took the decision, the membership of any committees responsible for the decisions, and the extent of that body or committee’s decision-making power.
You may also be able to compare that decision with other similar decisions which were taken apparently without corrupt motives, in order to be able to show that the decision you are seeking to challenge may have been motivated by improper considerations such as corrupt payments.
Before you start the court action, you will need to have collected the evidence that you need in order to demonstrate the main elements of the claim that you wish to bring. You will also need to have prepared a document in which you explain your claim in clear and detailed terms. That document should be structured in a careful and somewhat formal way, to make sure that the court has all of the information that it needs.
In that document you should describe the act or decision which was brought about by corruption, and you should also explain the role of the wrongdoer. If you had dealings with the wrongdoer, then you should explain your relationship with them, and summarise in a chronological way the dealings that you had with them. As explained above, you should state the reasons why you consider the act or decision was motivated by corruption. You should explain the consequences of the corrupt act or decision, and the reasons why it has caused you or other people loss. You should explain what would have happened if the corruption had not taken place.
Finally, you should explain what remedy you want. For example, it may be that you want financial compensation, or perhaps you want an order setting aside a decision or action that was motivated by corrupt intention and which is causing you harm. We explain the range of remedies to which you may be entitled in the discussion on “What remedies might I be able to obtain?”
PRACTICAL TIP: When you have written all of this down, it would be a good idea to ask a lawyer to look at it. Ensuring that this document is well-drafted is very important indeed for your case, because the court will rely on that document in understanding the nature of your claim, and in identifying key points which the other party needs to answer.
When you have collected your evidence, and have prepared a document which explains your claim, you should then be able to commence the court claim. The procedure which then governs the determination of your claim will depend on which type of court you choose, and on the procedural rules of that court. The process is likely to be broadly as follows.
If you have pursued your court action all the way through to the trial, and you have succeeded in persuading the Judge that your claim is valid, you may then obtain an order for financial compensation or some other form of remedy. We discuss this in some detail in the Going to Court section on “How can I enforce a Court Order?“. We recommend that you review this guidance, and in particular the practical tips at the end of the discussion concerning publicity and support.