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LAW8219 : Money Laundering and Corporate Misconduct

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Zoe Gounari
  • Co-Module Leader: Mrs Chris Fletcher
  • Owning School: Newcastle Law School
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System


This module aims to examine the law relating to Money Laundering and Corporate Misconduct.


The module will consider:

•       The risk of banks, financial institutions, the financial system and other professionals being used by criminals for illegal purposes, in particular for laundering the proceeds of crime.
•       How international, European and UK law makers and the Courts have sought to prevent use of the financial system in this way.
•       Other financial crimes and the risk that they pose to businesses and society generally including the techniques and strategies to disrupt and prevent such crimes.

An unfortunate consequence of the globalization of financial markets and their liberalization and deregulation has made it easier for organised criminals and terrorist groups to use the world’s financial system for illicit objectives.

As a result substantive legal and regulatory standards and enforcement techniques have had to develop and adapt to combat money laundering activity and more recently terrorist financing. Banks and bankers, solicitors and other professionals are at risk of serious jeopardy in criminal, civil and regulatory law if they find themselves involved in such illegal activity.

This course will consider the potential for abuse of the banking and financial system by those seeking to launder the proceeds of criminal conduct. This course explains and evaluates anti money laundering legal standards and techniques at international and domestic level (taking the UK as prime example).

The course will then illustrate the operation of the regulatory framework governing money laundering examined in its first part to case studies from the world of corporate misconduct.


Building on the introduction to the law and regulation around Money Laundering and other financial crimes the module will then consider:
•       The legal framework relating to bribery, as a specific instance of corporate misconduct and a key component of most large-scale financial crime, including the domestic and international efforts to prevent bribery (such as Bribery Act 2010, OECD Convention on Combating the Bribery of Foreign Public Officials 1997, United Nations Convention Against Corruption 2005).
•       The law relating to holding corporations criminally liable for financial misconduct, with a focus on corporate bribery and the impact of the Bribery Act 2010;
•       The repercussions of a finding of bribery on corporate culture and operations, including the impact of the regulatory regime on the recovery of criminal proceeds by the state, whether through Confiscation proceedings or Civil Recovery.

Outline Of Syllabus

The module will cover the following topics:

•       The ‘problems’ of money laundering and terrorist financing. Rationales for their legal proscription and sanction.
•       Domestic and International efforts to prevent money laundering and the related problem of use of the financial system for terrorist finance.
•       The UK primary and secondary legislation governing the general offences of money laundering and terrorist financing and in respect of other financial crimes.
•       Crime prevention measures and punishments available for money laundering offences, terrorist financing and other financial crimes.
•       The work and powers of the National Crime Agency.
•       Regulatory regime for the prevention of the use of the financial system for money laundering and financial crime.
•       Ethical issues relating to whether banks and financial institutions should be ‘policemen’?
•       Banks’ potential civil liability for the consequences of financial crime (including money laundering activity) and civil legal techniques for asset recovery and compensation from primary perpetrator and accessories.
•       Practical problems raised by conflicts between civil law liability and the criminal/regulatory regimes including reviewing recent prosecutions.
•       The international rules against corruption (OECD Convention on Combating the Bribery of Foreign Public Officials 1997, United Nations Convention Against Corruption 2005), as well as the relevant English statutory provisions, with a focus on the Bribery Act 2010.
•       The principles relating to the prosecution of corporate financial misconduct, including establishing corporate criminal liability and the regime on Deferred Prosecution Agreements. Comparisons will be made with other jurisdictions, particularly on the issue of prosecutorial discretion and its extent.
•       The impact of the Bribery Act on corporate misconduct and defences to the corporate bribery offence.
•       The legal framework on recovering the proceeds of crime through Confiscation Orders and/or Civil Recovery Orders and, specifically, its interaction with bribery and money laundering-related offences.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion601:0060:00N/A
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials101:0010:00Introduction to module and key concepts
Structured Guided LearningAcademic skills activities80:152:00MCQ
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching112:0022:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops12:002:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery21:002:00FLEX
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1021:00102:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lecture content will be delivered in the form of ten hour-long non-synchronous blocks of material, providing students with information on key concepts, an understanding of which the students will need in order to navigate the reading material for the small group teaching sessions. The substantive content of the module will be delivered through small group teaching, which has been determined to be the most effective mode of in-person content delivery for PGT students. One workshop will be scheduled toward the end of the module, which will involve group presentations and activities and whose purpose is to apply the legal principles examined in the small group sessions in one or more commercial scenarios.

The ‘drop in’ sessions to be scheduled at key stages in the module will allow students to ask questions concerning course content, while the MCQ activities will provide students with instantaneous formative feedback on their knowledge and understanding of substantive course content and allow them to assess their own progress.

The teaching methods have been adapted for delivery in the post-COVID environment and are based on the presumption that in-person sessions will be possible but that this needs to be supplemented by making alternative arrangements under ‘FLEX’ in case of limited scope for on Campus teaching.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay2M1003000 words
Formative Assessments

Formative Assessment is an assessment which develops your skills in being assessed, allows for you to receive feedback, and prepares you for being assessed. However, it does not count to your final mark.

Description Semester When Set Comment
Prob solv exercises2MMCQ-based assessment
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The summative coursework assesses the students’ knowledge and understanding of the course by answering one question out of three options. Of the three options, one will ask students to pick a relevant area of the law on financial crime and critically discuss whether it is an effective deterrent against financial crime. As part of the same option, students from other jurisdictions will be permitted to compare their chosen area of the law of financial crime to their own jurisdiction’s legal regime and critically discuss whether their own jurisdiction’s regime is an effective deterrent against financial crime. The purpose of this type of question is to encourage students to synthesize their knowledge and understanding of the law examined over the course of the module with their own research skills and interests and apply it to an area which they may feel is more relevant to their own experience. Those students who choose the open-law question out of the three summative options offered will be expected to submit a short research proposal in which they will briefly outline their proposed research structure and the central argument in response to their research question. The purpose of this is to ensure that the students’ choice of law is in line with the content and objectives of the module.

With all of the summative assessment options students will be applying the skills that they will have developed over the entirety course. In particular, the purpose of the coursework is to test the students' ability to demonstrate research skill and critical thought by presenting an authoritative argument which draws on both primary and secondary sources.

Formative assessment to check understanding and knowledge is through MCQ-based assessment set periodically over the course of the module will provide instantaneous feedback to students regarding their knowledge of the subject and will allow them to track their progress.

Reading Lists