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Ethical Conduct in International Petroleum: The Dilemmas of Bribery

Alfred J. Boulos, International Resources Law: Today's Oil, Gas, and Mining Projects (1997)

This paper will examine the dilemmas faced by international petroleum and mineral lawyers and business representatives when dealing with potential bribery situations.

Our purpose in the paper is to present an analysis and overview of the various ethical, cultural, legal, and other factors which have a bearing on conduct of individuals and organizations when faced with bribery situations and other issues which raise ethical questions of conduct.

Our basic focus will be on codes of ethical behavior and the philosophical and moral foundation of such codes. We will consider various theories of ethical conduct based on “duty” or “consequences of action” and review the differences therein.

We will also review the sources of ethics and standards of ethical conduct and determine if there exists any consensus of ethical values under the prevailing theories of ethical conduct.

Our main focus, in respect of the philosophical and moral analysis of ethical conduct, remains practical in every respect. We shall be concerned with the dilemmas faced by professional and business representatives of commercial organizations when confronted with serious and difficult situations of bribery.