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Matthew Stephenson

  • How ‘Islands of Honesty’ Can Crush a System of Corruption

    December 12, 2016

    For over a year, a global mystery has been growing: Why are so many governments around the world collapsing amid corruption scandals? Attention is now focused on South Korea, where the Parliament voted Friday to impeach President Park Geun-hye...“The normal institutions of justice — the courts, the prosecutors, the auditors, the ombudsmen, you name it — are themselves so thoroughly corrupted that you can steal with impunity,” said Matthew C. Stephenson, a professor at Harvard Law School who studies corruption. That batters public trust, and strengthens the perception that corruption is universal and unavoidable.

  • Some Experts Predict FCPA Enforcement Drop Under Trump

    November 13, 2016

    Enforcement of the U.S. law against foreign bribery, considered a hallmark in the global fight against corruption, may drop during the Trump administration, some experts said. Others disagreed, however, saying it was too early to tell or that the new administration may want to show it’s serious...Matthew Stephenson, a professor at the Harvard Law School, wrote a post on the Global Anti-Corruption Blog this week saying the “era of vigorous FCPA enforcement…is over.” “It’s hard for me to imagine that the attorney general of a Trump administration…would make prosecuting foreign bribery a significant priority, or would devote substantial resources to this area,” he wrote. “It might take a little while for the change to become apparent–there are still some cases in the pipeline, after all–but I’d be shocked if the U.S. maintained anything like its current level of FCPA enforcement.”

  • This amazing Supreme Court theory could probably never happen (but maybe it should)

    March 31, 2016

    There is a fun legal theory floating around advocating one way the Obama administration could resolve the mess over Merrick Garland’s nomination to the Supreme Court. In brief, the theory says this: A few months from now, Garland could just show up at the Supreme Court building and start working...Dahlia Lithwick has a rundown of the theory, which comes from this Yale Law Review article by Matthew Stephenson, a law professor at Harvard. The idea takes off from the Take Care Clause of the Constitution, which says that the president “must take care that the laws be faithfully executed,” and the Appointments Clause...According to Stephenson, there is occasional tension between these two clauses, and it has become more pronounced in our highly polarized modern moment, because the president appoints cabinet secretaries, agency heads, and other executive positions as essentially surrogates to carry out his agenda, denying him the ability to make these appointments keeps whole swaths of the Executive Branch from functioning, thus inhibiting his ability to faithfully execute the laws.

  • Wanted by U.S.: The Stolen Millions of Despots and Crooked Elites

    February 17, 2016

    It’s hard to imagine a public official with more toys than Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, who spent $300 million on Ferraris, a Gulfstream jet, a California mansion and even Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” jacket. The buying spree is all the more remarkable since this scion of the ruling family of Equatorial Guinea, one of Africa’s smallest countries, bought all this while on an official salary of $100,000 a year. ... “This is not like a murder, where you have a body,” said Matthew C. Stephenson, a professor at Harvard Law School and editor of the Global Anticorruption blog. “Financial crimes are much more complicated.”

  • U.S. Justice Dept Borrows From Academics for Policy Shift

    November 13, 2015

    The U.S. Justice Department is considering a new policy that gives companies a clearer idea of what to expect when self-reporting foreign corruption violations to the government, a move strikingly similar to a corporate-minded approach to criminal liability advocated by law professor Jennifer Arlen at New York University....Harvard law professor Matthew Stephenson described the process of calibrating corporate liability as finding a balance of carrots and sticks. But he has warned such a corporate pass policy may encourage companies to push compliance responsibility solely to individuals. Companies might have “much weaker incentives to invest substantial resources in effective training, integrity promotion, or other activities designed to prevent bribe-paying,” Mr. Stephenson wrote recently.

  • A man and a woman standing on stage addressing the audience

    “Winner takes all” at the 2015 Public Interest Auction

    May 8, 2015

    Karaoke with five HLS professors. A fashion shopping spree with Professor I. Glenn Cohen ’03. A classic movie night with Dean Martha Minow. These were just a few of the unique experiences auctioned off at the 21st annual Public Interest Auction on April 9th.

  • Oluwafunmilayo Akinosi LL.M. ’15, Melanie Emmen ’16, Lauren Ross ’16, Katie King ’16

    Articulating Integrity

    May 4, 2015

    The Global Anticorruption Lab, taught by HLS Professor Matthew Stephenson ’03, offers law students an unusual opportunity to hone concise writing skills through the crafting of blog posts that are read and commented on by high-level stakeholders around the world.

  • Sarah Chayes speaking at the front of the room with her arms out

    Why Corruption Threatens Global Security: A talk with Sarah Chayes

    March 31, 2015

    In a talk sponsored by International Legal Studies on February 11, former NPR correspondent Sarah Chayes, currently senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment, spoke to HLS students about the links, historical and current, between corruption and global security.

  • Jack Goldsmith speaking with a student

    In the Classroom: Curbing Corruption

    January 1, 2014

    Twenty law students take their seats in a third-floor seminar room of Wasserstein Hall, and their professors get right down to business. How do we evaluate claims made in the literature about the impact of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act on U.S. businesses and U.S. leadership around the world? Instantly, a student ventures that broad anti-corruption efforts might help the U.S. economy, even if the benefits to particular firms are unclear. For the next two hours, the air crackles with refutations, clarifications, elaborations, insights and reality checks. The break that’s scheduled at the one-hour mark comes 15 minutes late because the students are too engaged to stop.

  • William P. Alford, Alonzo Emery, Robert C. Bordone, Michael Stein, Matthew Bugher, Tyler Giannini, Noah Feldman, Vicki Jackson, Howell E. Jackson, David Kennedy, J. Mark Ramseyer, Hal Scott, Matthew C. Stephenson, Jeannie Suk, David Wilkins, and Mark Wu

    HLS Focus on Asia: Faculty and clinical highlights

    January 1, 2014

    Some recent faculty and clinical highlights—from research on anti-corruption efforts to conferences on financial regulation.

  • Development amidst Corruption | Developments against Corruption Conference

    Student conference focuses on strategies for tackling corruption

    November 30, 2012

    On Nov. 9 the Harvard Law & International Development Society, an HLS student group, held its annual symposium, this year highlighting the increasingly global nature of anti-corruption efforts. The day-long event, “Development amidst Corruption | Developments against Corruption,” began with vivid personal narratives from the trenches: speakers included undercover agent Robert Mazur, Ombudsman of the Philippines Conchita Carpio-Morales, and El Cid Butyayan, senior litigator for the World Bank.

  • Professor Matthew Stephenson '03

    Stephenson delivers keynote at anti-corruption conference in Thailand

    February 24, 2012

    Harvard Law School Professor Matthew Stephenson ‘03 delivered the keynote speech at the 2nd annual Evidence-Based Anti-Corruption Policies Conference held on Jan. 11 and 12 in Bangkok, Thailand.  

  • How Judges Decide

    July 1, 2010

    When judges rule on cases involving issues such as contracts, property rights, antitrust or taxes, they are not just making legal decisions. They are making economic policy.

  • Adriaan Lanni

    Lanni, Stephenson gain tenure, Gregory appointed assistant clinical professor of law

    November 9, 2009

    Adriaan Lanni and Matthew Stephenson ’03 have been promoted to tenured professorships of law at Harvard Law School, and current Lecturer on Law Michael Gregory ’04 has been appointed as an assistant clinical professor of law.

  • Glenn Cohen wearing bright red glasses

    Four young HLS faculty members selected to participate in Junior Faculty Forum

    May 15, 2008

    Assistant Professors I. Glenn Cohen '03, Adriaan Lanni, Jed Shugerman, and Matthew Stephenson '03 each had papers selected for the ninth annual Stanford-Yale Junior Faculty Forum, which will take place at Yale Law School in June.

  • Five new professors join HLS faculty

    August 30, 2005

    The ranks of the Harvard Law School faculty expanded over the summer with the arrival of three new assistant professors and two new tenured professors of law. The hires are part of an effort to bring about a net increase of 15 faculty members over the next decade.