As of February 24, 2014, prosecutors in the United Kingdom will have a new tool in their arsenal to combat corporate criminal wrongdoing. After a lengthy consultation process, and with the benefit of observing a longstanding U.S. practice, the British Parliament amended its Crime and Courts Act to allow for Deferred Prosecution Agreements (“DPAs”). Canadian lawmakers should carefully review this new legislation, as well as the U.S. DPA program, as either system would be a step in the right direction for Canada.
To date, federal officials in Canada have not shown an interest in introducing a DPA system for use by Canadian prosecutors tasked with combatting commercial crime. A DPA system, however, has many advantages for both the regulator and the regulated that Canada should consider. For the regulator, it provides the benefit of internal investigations that are funded by industry and disclosed voluntarily, which saves massive government resources. For the regulated, they avoid a conviction and admission of liability, which minimizes legal and reputational damage. The newly adopted U.K. regime provides a new model for Canada to consider alongside the American regime.
Continue Reading Deferred prosecution agreements arrive in the U.K.; food for thought for Canada