In December, the OECD issued a public consultation document, requiring mandatory disclosure rules to combat CRS avoidance and offshore structures. Comments are due January 15, 2018.
In the last month, the Venezuelan and Russian governments have discussed the use of digital currency to evade U.S. sanctions.
In particular, on December 3, 2017, Nicolas Maduro suggested the idea in a television speech. His plans are to create the Petro, which would be backed by Venezuela’s commodities (gold, oil, gas and diamond reserves) similar to the way gold has in the past supported the dollar.
Although the Russian government has expressed concern about the potential use of virtual currencies to commit crimes, more recently Russian President Vladimir Putin has indicated a willingness to explore the use of virtual currency to counteract U.S.. sanctions.
A recent book, Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Technologies: A Comprehensive Introduction by Arvind Narayanan, Joseph Bonneau, Edward Felten, Andrew Miller & Steven Goldfeder, addresses fundamental questions about the pros and cons of using virtual currency. How does virtual currency operate? What makes it different? How secure is virtual currency? How anonymous are virtual currency users? What applications can we build using virtual currency (i.e., Bitcoin) as a platform? Can cryptocurrencies be regulated? If we were to design a new cryptocurrency today, what would we change? What might the future hold?
A recent article has mapped the design space for numerous proposed modifications, providing comparative analyses for alternative consensus mechanisms, currency allocation mechanisms, computational puzzles, and key management tools.
On December 20, 2017, the OECD Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes issued its annual report.
It noted the fact that 50 jurisdictions have committed to starting Automatic Exchange of Information in September 2017 pursuant to the OECD Common Reporting Standard (CRS). As the jurisdictions that participated in the 2017 exchanges are preparing to use the data for enforcement purposes, most of the remaining jurisdictions are preparing now to make their initial exchanges in September 2018. Already the report on the 2017 implementation period is ready. The Global Forum is preparing to conduct full reviews of the implementation of automatic exchange of information (AEOI) by 2020.
The OECD has developed a plan of action to expand AEOI to developing countries.
The Global Forum has finished the first round of peer reviews on exchange of information on request (EOIR). Almost all the jurisdictions have received a satisfactory level of implementation. The GF will now conduct a second round of peer reviews against the 2016 Terms of Reference.
As of November 2017, the number of countries participating in the Multilateral Convention on Assistance in Tax Matters (CAM) reached 115. An additional 11 countries have requested to join.
DC Fellow Bill Coffield of Washington, DC, based Berliner, Corcoran & Rowe, won a defense verdict for Government Logistics, NV, a Belgian corporation, in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. The case, United States of America, ex rel. Kurt Bunk v. Government Logisitics, NV, No. 1:02-cv-1168 (AJT/MSN), was tried in May of 2017 before US District Judge Anthony Trenga. The Court’s opinion, issued on August 22, 2017, held Government Logistics not liable as a successor in interest for a $24 million False Claims Act judgment against another Belgian company.
The United States Government had originally sought to hold Government Logistics liable as an alleged successor entity for over $125 million dollars of False Claims Act penalties and damages against Gosselin Group, NV. In rejecting the Government’s allegations that Government Logistics had entered into a fraudulent transaction intended to hinder potential judgment creditors, the Court, in its Memorandum Opinion stated, “The GovLog principals were not aware of any potential civil liability that the Gosselin Defendants faced when they entered into the Gosselin-GovLog transactions and by entering into those transactions, did not intend to assist the Gosselin Defendants in any effort to hinder, delay, or defraud creditors in general or the United States in particular.”
Bill led the defense team from Berliner, Corcoran & Rowe, that included partner Laina Lopez. In addition to being an LCA Fellow, Bill is AV Peer Rated by Martindale Hubbell, is ranked a Super Lawyer by Thompson Reuters, and has been named a Top One Hundred Trial Lawyer by the National Trial Lawyers Association. His areas of practice and expertise include white collar and complex civil litigation. He has advised corporations, ranging from billion-dollar international public companies to private businesses, and public-sector officials, including The White House and The United States Congress.
Yesterday, the American Bar Association (ABA) and the international community celebrated International Criminal Justice Day. https://www.americanbar.org/news/abanews/aba-news-archives/2017/07/statement_of_abapre.html
In particular, the ABA and the international community recognized that 15 years ago the International Criminal Court (ICC) was created. Today depending on your perspective the ICC has accomplished significant victories in bringing prosecutions and holding trials that have been judged to meet international standards of fairness. However, the ICC suffers from a shortage of resources and inability to implement its orders. Its reliance on other countries to carry out arrest warrants and requests for witnesses to testify mean that in a number of cases countries do not comply. Just as in national courts many cases are politicized. Many , if not most defendants, have significant resources and utilize criminalized power structures to resist indictment or prosecution by the ICC.
As some of the key powers, such as the China, United States, and Russia are not members of the ICC, the Court often lacks the ability to carry out its mandates.
As the production and distribution of arms, including sophisticated weapons like drones, increasingly become available to both state and non-state actors, the ability of persons in international and internal conflicts to perpetrate mass destruction becomes easier and the growth of international atrocities outpaces the ability of the ICC and the international community to stop such conflicts and adjudicate the violations of the laws of war.
Increasingly, one of the values of the ICC is to help other ad hoc criminal tribunals as the latter try to develop and implement norms to meet best standards of operation.
As you may know, I am teaching at Texas A&M University’s School of Law in their new online Risk Management program. This program is available as an LL.M. for lawyers or an M. Jur. degree for non-lawyers; the programs are designed for professionals with significant experience in the field.
The first entering class starts on May 22. With the flexibility of a part-time online program, Texas A&M has recruited an impressive group of students, who, in the years ahead, will network among themselves and the Faculty.
A few spaces remain in the May 22 entering class. For highly qualified candidates, we will make available the Bruce Zagaris Scholarship, if you apply by May 1 and are admitted to the program.
To take be considered for this opportunity, send a request to our admissions team (firstname.lastname@example.org or 682.233.1014) today. If others in your network are interested in this opportunity please share the information.
Welcome to the official blog of the International Enforcement Law Reporter, a review of the nexus between the world of international politics and the law, published monthly since 1985. In this space, we will supplement the material covered in the IELR with additional information and analysis, presented in a more informal fashion and responsive to the news of the day. We hope this site can be of use to you as a destination for information and rapid analysis.