International initiatives concerning the global financial system traditionally have been implemented through the building of consensus among affected states to identify problems and then set forth the means to deal with those problems. Recently, however, under the title Actions Against Abuse of the Global Financial System, the G7 nations began a campaign that uses the threat of sanctions to coerce cooperation from offshore financial centers in the areas of money laundering and tax competition. The use of sanctions to force compliance is problematic because, although sanctions would be available to remedy a violation of an international obligation, there has been no attempt to identify any such obligation for the Object States. Instead the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), in accordance with the agenda of the G7, have set forth self-referential criteria that assess compliance of the offshore financial centers with presumed international "standards" against money laundering and harmful tax competition. The legal enforceability of the sanctions threatened for non-compliance, however, depends upon the existence of legal bases for both sets of criteria. This Article attempts to determine whether such bases exist.
Benjamin R. Hartman,
Coercing Cooperation from Offshore Financial Centers: Identity and Coincidence of International Obligations Against Money Laundering and Harmful Tax Competition,
B.C. Int'l & Comp. L. Rev.