Conference – New Trends & Destination Countries

CiFAR and the Interational State Crime Initiative


18-20 JANUARY 2022 (ONLINE)



Cross-border corruption is a multi-billion dollar a year challenge to democratic norms and to transparent and accountable governance. Over the past ten years, there has been an explosion of cross-border asset recovery cases, including the post-Arab Spring and post-Ukraine revolution cases, the Malaysian 1MDB case, Moldova’s Billion Dollar Bank Fraud, the Odebrecht cases across Latin America, the ongoing Abacha returns to Nigeria, the Karimova case in Uzbekistan, and Kazakh I and II, Additionally, and largely in response, there have also been a multitude of changes in how states act to prevent cross-border corruption and recover stolen assets. These include changes in beneficial ownership transparency, the targeting of enablers, the introduction of reconciliation agreements and unexplained wealth orders, the expansion of anti-corruption sanctions, and many others. They also include several new models for returning stolen assets.

These measures – largely in or driven by countries of the Global North – have been diverse and not without criticism, and in some cases have been experimental in form. Whether and how they work, their application on a broader scale, and who they work for, are all important questions. Equally as interesting are whether new methods and new ideas can be developed to overcome challenges that still exist or have been further created by these new methods.

In light of these important questions for the future of asset recovery, the Civil Forum for Asset Recovery (CiFAR) and the International State Crime Initiative (ISCI) (Ulster University/Queen Mary University of London) are inviting submissions for a new academic-practitioner conference to take place in January 2022. This conference (held online) aims to bring together a global community of academics, civil society actors, researchers, journalists and policymakers to discuss trends in policy around cross-border corruption prevention and asset recovery, with a focus in this instance on the role of the Global North.

We encourage individual or panel applications from academics and civil society actors on topics relating to new trends in asset recovery with a focus on the Global North. Topics could include, but are not limited to:

  • New tools and techniques used for preventing and/or responding to stolen assets
  • Existing return models or ideas for new ways to return stolen assets
  • Participation in cases and return processes, the role of victims
  • The roles of different actors in countries of destination
  • Historical ties to current events and the way they are affecting asset recovery
  • Challenges in returning accountably and transparently
  • Access to information and asset recovery
  • Engaging the public on stolen wealth in the Global North
  • Tensions and opportunities in the politics of asset recovery

Applications should include:

  • An outline of no more than 500 words (individual presenters) or 1000 words (panels) outlining your proposed topic of discussion
  • A CV / CVs of panel members

Selected presenters will have the option to submit a full paper no later than 14 days before the conference. This is not mandatory and presentations alone are also possible.


  • Submission of outlines: 30 October 2021
  • All applicants to be notified by 1 December 2021

Applications should be emailed to info@cifar.eu by 12:00 CET on the 30 October 2021 with the subject title: Submission – New Trends in Asset Recovery. Please note that the conference will take place in English.

The International State Crime Initiative (ISCI) is an interdisciplinary forum for research, reportage, training and debate on state violence and corruption. ISCI is institutionally hosted within Queen Mary, University of London and University of Ulster.

The Civil Forum for Asset Recovery (CiFAR) is an NGO that supports civil society to campaign across borders to prevent public asset theft and for accountable and transparent asset recovery.