Civil proceedings brought by the state are one mechanism to recover the proceeds of crime, or to claim compensation for corrupt acts: as discussed in our previous post Recovering the proceeds of corruption: an overview.
Typically, substantial corruption cases are international in scope and the proceeds of a corrupt transaction are often laundered through and to countries other than the victim state. This international context means that (1) there are a number of countries in which civil claims can be made; and (2) corrupt assets may be located in multiple countries. It is normally inefficient and costly to bring proceedings in each of those jurisdictions. Instead it is often preferable to make a single claim leading to a judgment which can successfully be enforced in each country where assets are located.
The English courts are an attractive jurisdiction for civil asset recovery cases, as they offer judgments which are enforceable and respected in many foreign countries. Cooley’s briefing “International enforcement of English asset recovery judgments” outlines and discusses the various routes to enforcement of an English judgment abroad. It is available here.