Blog

Oct 14, 2016 Yet more burden for the suspect to carry The latest draft of the Criminal Finances bill had its first reading in the House of Commons yesterday (13 October 2016). This bill covers a myriad of different areas (see the complete bill at http://services.parliament.uk/bills/2016-17/criminalfinances.html) but Part 1 Chapter 1 has the provisions for “Unexplained Wealth Orders” which are to be inserted into Chapter 2 Part 8 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. This will be yet another weapon in the UK prosecuting authorities armoury to seize and confiscate assets which they believe may have been obtained from criminal ... Read More
Sep 23, 2016 Freezing Injunctions in Aid of Foreign Proceedings The English High Court has jurisdiction under section 25 of the Civil Jurisdiction and Judgments Act 1982 to grant freezing injunctions in aid of substantive proceedings in a foreign country. The test is the same as that for domestic injunctions – in other words, the applicant must prove a good arguable case, a real risk of asset dissipation, and that the granting of the injunction would be just and convenient. However, the applicant in a section 25 case must also clear three additional hurdles: (1) the injunction must not be “inexpedient”, (2) it must be related and ... Read More
Sep 15, 2016 New Restorative Justice Service to be implemented in London On 26 August 2016 Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, launched a £1.3 million restorative justice service for victims of crime in London. This initiative offers individuals in London who have been the victim of crime the opportunity to meet the perpetrator. The new support program has been instigated with a view to cutting reoffending rates as it is believed that the offender will be impacted by meeting the victim and make them feel accountable for their actions. Further, the scheme seeks to help victims recover from the incident by meeting the person responsible thereby allowing them to ... Read More
Sep 14, 2016 Freezing Injunctions – the duty of full and frank disclosure An applicant who applies for a freezing injunction without first notifying the respondent owes a duty to give full and frank disclosure to the court. This involves giving a fair presentation to the court of all the material facts and law. ‘Material’ in this context refers to matters which the court would take into account when deciding whether to grant the freezing injunction, including matters which the respondent might have been expected to raise if notified of the application. The duty is an onerous one. In particular: (1) applicants must make proper enquiries to ascertain ... Read More
Sep 6, 2016 Operation Tabernula Acquittal: Lessons Learned Operation Tabernula was a long and winding road. The majority of the defendants were arrested on 23 March 2010, charged on 1 October 2012 and tried over four months beginning on 11 January 2016. The substantial delay alone occasioned by issues over legal aid for counsel instructed in the case set the trial back 15 months. For defendant Benjamin Anderson, the final verdict of acquittal was a vindication of the many long hours spent absorbing, dissecting and deconstructing the prosecution case theory utilising the very tools the Prosecution relied upon to prosecute. This included the vast ... Read More
Aug 17, 2016 Deferred Prosecution Agreements – Does the UK legislation deal effectively with economic crime? Until recently, Deferred Prosecution Agreements (“DPAs”) were solely a feature of the US criminal justice system and were initially developed in the 1900s for the purpose of handling juvenile offenders without stigmatising them as criminals for life.[1] Under the terms of such agreements the prosecution would be deferred and instead the juvenile would undertake a rehabilitation programme and following successful completion, the charges would be dropped.  The intention therefore behind the initial DPAs in the US, was to protect juveniles (seen as the most vulnerable in ... Read More
Jul 26, 2016 The death of the SFO and of corporate criminal law as we know it? The future of UK enforcement in the corporate crime sphere has never been easy to predict. Indeed, Theresa May in her role as Home Secretary had long been an advocate of the SFO’s abolition, and its incorporation into the National Crime Agency, an organisation with no proven track record of prosecuting complex financial crime. Whether she takes up this mantle again in her new role remains to be seen, but the executive’s frustration at the inability of our criminal justice system to successfully punish corporate criminality in the corruption arena has been voiced over and over ... Read More
Jul 12, 2016 SFO publish new operational guidance for those attending, advising or conducting an interview under section 2 of the Criminal Justice Act 1987 (CJA 1987). On 6 June 2016 the SFO published new operational guidance for those attending, advising or conducting an interview under section 2 of the Criminal Justice Act 1987 (CJA 1987). In 2015 the previously stagnant approach taken in section 2 interviews evolved when the Divisional Court in R (Lord & others) v SFO [2015] EWHC 865 (Admin) endorsed the SFO’s recent decision to exclude a lawyer from being present in an interview where they deemed their presence would prejudice the investigation as they acted for the corporate suspect as well as a number of witnesses. Guidance previously ... Read More
Jul 5, 2016 NEW CORPORATE OFFENSE OF FAILURE TO PREVENT ECONOMIC CRIME – THE WINDS OF CHANGE? In May 2012, the Ministry of Justice consultation paper on deferred prosecution agreements (DPAs) identified the difficulties that prosecutors in the UK face with the law of corporate criminal liability and stressed that more needed to be done. Historically, corporate criminal liability in the UK has been difficult to successfully prosecute. The “identification principle” in UK law requires that a corporate can only be held liable for the criminal acts of those who are the “directing mind and will” of the company. Identifying who those individuals are and then ... Read More
Jun 30, 2016 Brexit: Impact on EU Laws, Regulation and Enforcement A vast number of EU directives and laws are currently woven into the UK legal system. That will remain the position for some time, until Brexit negotiations are concluded, but what will then happen is down to Parliamentary decisions. Here are examples of just some of the EU laws and rules that are currently in force: The ‘right to be forgotten’ – an EU court ruled that individuals have the right to demand that links are removed from Google search results if information is ‘inaccurate, inadequate, irrelevant or excessive’. When the UK is no longer part of the ... Read More