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International Anti-Money Laundering Instruments

Money laundering is usually defined in a host of different ways. Simply put, money laundering refers to the process or processes through which the proceeds of certain crimes are first disguised and then legitimized so as they can be enjoyed without risking discovery and prosecution.

Historically, it is possible to trace some initial domestic efforts at developing a legal regime to combat money laundering even if, originally, the goal pursued by these efforts was limited to the reduction of tax evasion. In the 1970s, for example, the United States Bank Secrecy Act established limitations to bank secrecy and placed upon financial institutions the obligation to report transactions that were suspected of involving funds that had not been declared for tax purposes.

Likewise, the Swiss Banking industry respond to capital flight scandals in the mid-seventies, lead to the development of prudential rules in the banking area including notions of client identification and due diligence with respect to certain categories of customers. Both efforts constitutes the first instance of the kind of regulations that would eventually become mainstay features of anti-money laundering regimes.

Despite its domestic origins, when the control of money laundering became an important component of the war on drugs it soon became evident that the effectiveness of the system would heavily depend on how homogeneously it was applied across borders.

Read more about:

  • The Development of International Anti-Money Laundering Standards
  • Prevention and Detection of Money Laundering
  • Freezing Assets and other Provisional Measures
  • International Standards with Regard to Confiscation and Repatriation of Proceeds and Instruments of Crimes

Download: International Anti-Money Laundering Instruments by Guillermo Jorge and Lucas E. Barreiros

Basics of International Insolvency Law

One of the greatest tasks a State can undertake is to reform its laws. Such a process can take a significant number of years and substantial political and cultural turmoil can occur in the process. Envision if that concept is taken one step further with an organization given the task of reforming not one State's laws, but all of the States of the world in order to provide one uniform law. UNCITRAL was given such a mandate by the United Nations.

On 17 December 1966, by Resolution 2205, the United Nations established the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law ("UNCITRAL") with a mandate to harmonize and unify the law of international trade, bearing in mind the interest of all people and in particular those in developing countries, in the continuing development of international trade and commerce.

Read more about:

  • International Bankruptcy Law Reform: The International Insolvency Standard Established by UNCITRAL's Legislative Guide on Insolvency and The World Bank Principles
  • Development of an International Insolvency Standard by The World Bank:The World Bank Principles
  • Principles for Effective Insolvency Creditor Rights Systems

Download: Basics of International Insolvency Law by Christopher Redmon