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Council of Europe Civil Law Convention on Corruption

Adopted: 4 November 1999
Signatories: 42 (as of 1 November 2007)
Ratifications: 33 (as of 29 September 2008). Including one non-member state: Belarus.
nto force: 1 November 2003
Open to: Council of Europe member states; non-member states which took part in drawing it up; other non-member states by invitation; and the European Community.
Website for updated information
Full convention text

The Council of Europe Civil Law Convention on Corruption is the first attempt to define common international rules in the field of civil law and corruption. In particular, it requires states to provide legal remedies, including compensation for damages, for persons who have suffered damage as a result of acts of corruption.

The Convention provides for monitoring by GRECO, the Group of States against Corruption, which was launched by the Council of Europe in 1999 to monitor the compliance with Council of Europe anti-corruption standards established in several instruments. Technical assistance programmes are linked to the review process.

The Council of Europe is an international organisation of 46 member states in the European region, founded in 1949. Membership is open to all European states which accept the principle of the rule of law and guarantee fundamental human rights and freedoms to their citizens. The organisation has also granted observer status to five more countries: the Holy See, the United States, Canada, Japan and Mexico.

The Council was set up to:

  • defend human rights, parliamentary democracy and the rule of law
  • develop continent-wide agreements to standardise member countries' social and legal practices
  • promote awareness of a European identity based on shared values and cutting across different cultures.

Since 1989, it has focused on assisting the countries of central and eastern Europe in carrying out and consolidating political, legal and constitutional reform in parallel with economic reform; as well as providing know-how in areas such as human rights, local democracy, education, culture and the environment.

Download the summary overview for additional information about the Civil Law Convention and its strengths and weaknesses.

See monitoring provisions for this convention in the monitoring section.

See Transparency International's work on conventions in TI projects & activities.

Find more on the UNCAC Coalition

TI Policy Position:
Effectively Monitoring the United Nations
Convention against Corruption (UNCAC)