Learning more about the FATF: Knowing the tree by its fruits

  • Petrus C. van DuyneEmail author
  • Jackie H. Harvey
  • Liliya Y. Gelemerova


The FATF prides itself on being the authority that sets global standards for combating money laundering, the financing of terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. It is an inter-governmental organisation and in that capacity a “policy making body”. It does not present itself as a public organisation falling under some other super-ordinate public organisation or authority. It is funded with public money: all members contribute to its operations, roughly in proportion to the size of their economy (GDP). This also applies to the ‘FATF style regional bodies’: the FSRBs. As the whole undertaking is funded from the public purse these bodies should be publicly accountable. Given the inter-governmental status of the FATF, this accountability is assumed to work through the G-20 Heads of State and/or the “FATF-ministers”: the real principals of the FATF who decide on determining and prolonging its mandate. Naturally, the ministers and Heads of State are politically responsible in their own countries. Analogue to this, the FSRBs are responsible to their participating governments: ministers or other designated authorities. Does this imply democratic accountability? The answer is uncertain and depends on the extent of political appreciation. We find no mention of participating countries having different ‘degrees of democracy’, which they do have, ranging from full democracies to one-party states or thinly veiled autocracies. Apparently, this does not hamper the FATF in its functioning (see 3.5.).


  1. Duyne, P.C. van., (2003), Money laundering policy. Fears and facts. In van Duyne, P.C., von Lampe, K, Newell, J (eds.), Criminal Finances and Organised Crime in Europe. (pp. 67–104). Tilburg, The Netherlands: Wolf Legal.Google Scholar
  2. Duyne, P.C. van, Groenhuijsen, M.S. and Schudelaro, A.A.P., (2005), Balancing financial threats and legal interests in money-laundering policy. Crime, Law and Social Change, 43(2-3), 117–147.Google Scholar
  3. Duyne, P.C. van, M. Soudijn and T. Kint, (2009), Bricks don’t talk. Searching for crime money in real estate. In: P.C. van Duyne, S. Donati, J. Harvey, A. Maljevic and K. von Lampe (eds.), Crime, money and criminal mobility in Europe. Nijmegen, Wolf Legal Publishers.Google Scholar
  4. Duyne, P.C. van, Harvey J., and Gelemerova, L., (2016), ‘The Monty Python Flying Circus of Money Laundering and the Question of Proportionality’ Chapter 10 in ‘Illegal Entrepreneurship, Organized Crime and Social Control: Essays in Honour of Professor Dick Hobbs’ (ed) G. Antonopolous, Springer, Studies in Organized Crime 14.Google Scholar
  5. FATF, (2000), ‘Review of Non Cooperative Countries or Territories: Increasing the Worldwide Effectiveness of Anti-Money Laundering Measures’, June, Paris.Google Scholar
  6. FATF, (2008), Money laundering and Terrorist Financing risk assessment strategies. Paris.Google Scholar
  7. FATF, (2012), High-level principles and objectives for FATF and FATF-style regional bodies. Paris.Google Scholar
  8. Ferwerda, J., (2009), The economics of crime and money laundering: Does anti-money laundering policy reduce crime? Review of Law and Economics, 5(2), 903–929.Google Scholar
  9. Ferwerda, J. and Unger, B., (2013), Detecting money laundering in the real estate sector chapter in Unger, B. and van der Linde, D. (2013). Research Handbook on Money Laundering. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing.Google Scholar
  10. Gelemerova, L., (2011), The anti-money laundering system in the context of globalisation a panopticom built on quicksand, Nijmegen: Wolf Legal Publishers.Google Scholar
  11. Goldbarsht, D. and Michaelsen, C., (2017), International legal and quasi-legal approaches to combatting money laundering: an Australian perspective on norm-development. In van Duyne P.C., Harvey J, Antonopoulis, G.A,. and von Lampe K (eds.), The many faces of crime for profit and ways of tackling it., Oisterwijk: Wolf Legal Publishers.Google Scholar
  12. Halliday, T., Levi, M. and Reuter P., (2014). Global Surveillance of Dirty Money: Assessing Assessments of Regimes to Control Money-Laundering and Combat the Financing of Terrorism (pp. 1–61): Centre on Law and Globalisation.Google Scholar
  13. International Monetary Fund (IMF/Hagan) (2011) Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT)—Report on the Review of the Effectiveness of the Program Prepared by the Legal Department (in consultation with other departments) Approved by Sean Hagan, 11 May, Washington: IMF.Google Scholar
  14. Johnson, J., (2008), Third round FATF mutual evaluations indicate declining compliance. Journal of Money Laundering Control, 11(1), 47–66.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Kurdrle, R.T., (2008), Did blacklisting hurt the tax havens? Journal of Money Laundering Control, 12(1), 33–49.Google Scholar
  16. Unger, B., (2007), The Scale and Impacts of Money Laundering. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Petrus C. van Duyne
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jackie H. Harvey
    • 2
  • Liliya Y. Gelemerova
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Penal LawTilburg UniversityTilburgThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Newcastle Business SchoolNorthumbria UniversityNewcastle upon TyneUK
  3. 3.University of ManchesterManchesterUK

Personalised recommendations