Schedule 17 of the Crime and Courts Act 2013 introduced Deferred Prosecution Agreements (DPAs) into the English legal system. It represents a historic turning point as well as an innovation that has the potential to revolutionise the approach to corporate criminal liability traditionally adopted in England and Wales. On 30 November 2015 the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd, which has been the first corporation charged with the offence of “failure of commercial organisations to prevent bribery” provided for by s.7 of the Bribery Act 2010, entered into the first ever deferred prosecution agreement in England with the Serious Fraud Office. This article analyses the legislative provisions on DPAs, dealing with their most problematic aspects and drawing comparisons with corresponding legal instruments developed in the US. It also offers an analysis of the above-mentioned DPA, highlighting the most controversial legal issues arising from it.
- Corporate Crime
- Deferred Prosecution Agreement
- financial crime
- Settlement agreements
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