Section 1 of the Bribery Act requires the government to show that the person giving a bribe intended that the bribe would bring about the improper performance of a relevant function or activity or intended to reward such improper performance. Section 6, in comparison, does not require proof of an intention to induce or reward the improper performance of a relevant function or activity.
A person improperly performs a relevant function or activity by breaching a relevant expectation. Whether a relevant expectation was breached is determined by considering what a reasonable person in the UK would expect. Local custom or practice is irrelevant to this determination unless the conduct in question is permitted or required in writing by local law.1
A relevant function or activity is:
- any function of a public nature, connected with a business, performed in the course of a person’s employment, or performed by or on behalf of a body of persons (whether corporate or unincorporated), and
- performed by a person expected to perform it in good faith and impartially, or in a position of trust by virtue of performing it.
The relevant function or activity need not have any connection to the UK.2
1 Ministry of Justice, The Bribery Act 2010 Guidance, at 10 (2011).
2 Bribery Act 2010, c. 23, § 3 (UK).