An increasing number of countries are introducing mechanisms to target people who enjoy an amount of wealth that can't be explained by their lawful income.

These mechanisms - known as illicit enrichment laws or unexplained wealth laws - allow investigators and prosecutors to recover assets that have clearly not come from lawful sources without having to prove the specific criminal action that gave rise to these proceeds. As such, they are particularly useful to target corruption offences, where it is often difficult to point to an obvious victim or to a specific criminal act.

A new open-access book published by the Basel Institute on Governance explores the rapid growth of illicit enrichment legislation around the world and its use to target corruption and recover illicitly obtained assets.

What does illicit enrichment mean for combating corruption?

An increasing number of countries are introducing mechanisms to target people who enjoy an amount of wealth that can't be explained by their lawful income.

Illicit Enrichment by Andrew Dornbierer provides a comprehensive guide to illicit enrichment laws and their application to target unexplained wealth and recover proceeds of corruption and other crimes. The book covers both criminal and civil-based laws from around the world.

Investigators, prosecutors, legislators and academics alike will benefit from the clear descriptions and practical guidance on different approaches to targeting unexplainable increases in wealth, how to establish cases in court, and common legal challenges to illicit enrichment laws.