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The gift or promise which is accepted of some advantage as the inducement for some illegal act or omission; or of some illegal emolument as a consideration for preferring one person to another in the performance of a legal act.


The receiving or offering any undue reward by or to any person whomsoever, whose ordinary profession or business relates to the administration of public justice, in order to influence his behaviour in office and to incline him to act contrary to his duty and the known rules of honesty and integrity.

The term bribery extends now further and includes the offence of giving a bribe to many other officers. The offence of the giver and of the receiver of the bribe has the same name. For the sake of distinction, that of the former, viz: the briber, might be properly denominated active bribery; while that of the latter, viz: the person bribed, might be called passive bribery.

Bribery at elections for members of parliament has always been a crime at common law and punishable by indictment or information. It still remains so in England notwithstanding the stat. To constitute the offence, it is not necessary that the person bribed should, in fact, vote as solicited to do or even that he should have a right to vote at all both are entirely immaterial.

An attempt to bribe, though unsuccessful, has been holden to be criminal and the offender may be indicted.