Public Consultation on Deferred Prosecution Agreements (DPAs)

Australia is a signatory to the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention. Subsequently, the Australian Government is focused on strengthening enforcement of Australia’s foreign bribery laws. This is a challenge all countries face – evidence is often overseas, and is typically sensitive, as it implicates corrupt government officials.

In order to strengthen Australia’s enforcement of foreign bribery laws, the Australian Government is exploring options to improve the flexibility of the criminal justice system in dealing with investigations and prosecuting foreign bribery cases. One of the options being looked at is a DPAs scheme.

What is a DPA?

A DPA is a voluntary, negotiated settlement between a prosecutor and a defendant. Where a company has engaged in a serious corporate crime, prosecutors would have the option to invite the company to negotiate a DPA, in return for which the prosecution would be deferred. During the deferral period the company has to cooperate with any investigation, pay a financial penalty and implement a program to improve future compliance. For this compliance the company will have the matter resolved without criminal conviction and the prosecution would be discontinued.

Both the UK and the USA use DPAs. Australia does not currently have a DPA scheme and is considering this as an option to encourage greater self-reporting by companies. In light of the Panama Papers scandal this consultation paper is very timely.

Making a Submission

The following consultation paper considers whether a DPA scheme should be introduced in Australia, and if so, how such a scheme could be best structured:

Responses (and any queries) to this consultation paper should be emailed to criminal.law@ag.gov.au no later than close of business – Monday, 2 May 2016*

[*UPDATE: note the last date for responses (and any queries) to this consultation paper is now closed. This article is now posted for reference purposes only.]

Post by Cara McKenna and John Kell 

Most Popular Articles

Blog

Commonwealth Redress Scheme for Institutional Child Sexual Abuse

On 26 October 2017 the Federal Social Services Minister introduced two bills facilitating a Commonwealth redress scheme for victims of institutional child sexual abuse.
Blog

Why did I tell you that?

In CWI v The University of New South Wales [2018] NSWCATAD 12 the Civil and Administrative Tribunal of New South Wales (NCAT) was asked to make a decision regarding a review of a determination by the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in relation to a complaint made about the conduct of an officer of UNSW under the Privacy and Personal Information Act 1998 (PPIP Act).
Blog

Motor Accident Injuries Act 2017- Effects on Section 151Z(1)(d) – Indemnity Claims

The Motor Accident Injuries Act 2017 commences operation on 1 December 2017.

Subscribe to Our Blog

Keeping you connected, Hicksons regularly publishes articles to keep you up to date on the latest developments. To receive these updates via email, please subscribe below and indicate which areas of law you would like to receive information on.

Top