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9.05.2008

Should sexual bribery be criminalized?


The Procuratorial Daily has just launched a mini-website where the pros and cons of making "sex bribery" 性贿赂犯罪 a crime are discussed. [View]

This is not the first time that Chinese legal scholars call for the exchange between sex and power to be criminalized. The topic has been discussed online already eight years ago (BBC, Telegraph, People's Daily).

An important precedent was established in November last year, when the Ministry of Public Security issued the "Four Prohibitions for Fire Squads". This documents forbids members of fire squads to accept the provision of sexual services and other non-material advantages.

Yet, a very narrow understanding of the 1997 Criminal Law of the PRC would not consider non-monetary and non-material favours - as sexual services - as an incentive to unethical behaviour:

Article 385
A public servant of the state who, by taking advantage of his post, asks for another person's property, or illegally accepts another person's property and secures advantages for him, shall be guilty of a crime of acceptance of bribes.
A public servant of the state who, in violation of the state's regulations, accepts commissions and service charges offered in various names for his own possession in economic transactions shall be dealt with as acceptance of bribes.