News & what's on - Written by Barry & Richard on Saturday, April 27, 2013 3:27 - 1 Comment
DPA law gets Royal Assent. Deferred Prosecution Agreements on track for 2014
In line with a timetable we published a few weeks ago Thursday saw Parliament approve the law which will enable Deferred Prosecution Agreements in the UK (in England and Wales).
A Draft Code of Practice for Prosecutors needs to be published by the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Director of the Serious Fraud Office for consultation. We anticipate that something should be published in the coming weeks.
This Code will contain more practical detail and is likely to include the principles for when a DPA will be considered appropriate, the principles applying to such a decision and any factors which could suggest a DPA would be unsuitable.
We also anticipate that it will include a provision for the protection of legal professional privilege, guidance on the process to be adopted by the prosecutor and advice on how a prosecutor should deal with decisions to prosecute upon termination of an agreement for breach.
Likewise the Sentencing Council has indicated that it is currently intending to publish guidelines on penalties after conviction for economic crimes covered by DPA’s and it is anticipated by the Government that these will offer the certainty around potential penalties which could be agreed under a DPA.
It is true that the (not so) new Director of the SFO David Green is a tougher figure than his predecessor.
Cutting through the rhetoric: the SFO will use the new Deferred Prosecution Agreement regime in appropriate cases.
The regime remains on track to swing into action in early 2014.