AfREC Experts Speak on Panel on International Law and Mining in Africa

On 5 September 2019, UWA Law School academic and AfREC Community Coordinator Dr Dominic Dagbanja, alongside Professor of International Law at UWA and AfREC Member Prof. Stephen Smith and mining industry representatives, participated in a panel discussion on “’International’ Bribery and Corruption Laws: Their application and implications for the mining industry in Africa”.

The panel was convened by African Geopolitics, led by AfREC Research Fellow Dr Max de Vietri, as part of the Africa Down Under mining industry conference during annual national Africa Australia Week in Perth. The panel was supported by the UWA Public Policy Institute, of which Prof. Smith is Chair of the Advisory Board.

The objective of the panel discussion was to introduce the concept of ‘international’ laws on bribery and corruption and the concern of exposure to these laws and how they are affecting Australian miners, explorers and service companies operating in Africa. It examined their origin, applications in Africa and their relevance in today’s upside-down world. The discussion was a reflective examination of laws applied ‘internationally’ to the mining industry, leading to a better understanding of obligations, potential failures and threats within the changing climate of international relations and Australia’s place in it.

According to the panel convenors, “The identification and mitigation of corrupt government behaviour and foreign business practices is not only for the benefit of keeping the foreign investor/operator or high-flying government officials out of American, British, Australian or local jails. It is aimed at bringing an efficient functioning of the bodies of both government and business, as well as an effective distribution of benefits to the ‘near and far’ communities of people, bringing well-being to the totality of humanity and to begin with, development of the African States in which resources occur.”

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