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).


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