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Submissions for this consultation closed on Monday, 2 May 2016

On 16 March 2016, the Minister for Justice released a public consultation paper on a possible Australian scheme for deferred prosecution agreements (DPAs) for serious corporate crime.

The Australian Government is considering options to facilitate a more efficient and effective response to corporate crime by encouraging greater self-reporting by companies. A key focus of this consideration is a possible DPA scheme. A DPA is a voluntary, negotiated settlement between a prosecutor and a defendant.

Under a DPA scheme, where a company has engaged in a serious corporate crime, prosecutors would have the option to invite the company to negotiate an agreement, in return for which the prosecution would be deferred. The terms of the DPA would typically require the company to cooperate with any investigation, pay a financial penalty and implement a program to improve future compliance.

In exchange, the company can have the matter resolved without criminal conviction with any fine imposed reflecting the company's cooperation. Upon fulfilment of the terms of the DPA, the prosecution would be discontinued.

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:


The department received the following submissions in response to the public consultation paper.

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Next steps

On 31 March 2017, the Minister for Justice released a consultation paper on a Proposed model for a Deferred Prosecution Agreement scheme in Australia. Any queries concerning this consultation process may be directed to criminal.law@ag.gov.au.