Deferred prosecution agreement scheme code of practice
The Attorney-General's Department has developed a draft code of practice in consultation with key government agencies. The draft code provides guidance on the intended operation of the Deferred Prosecution Agreement (DPA) scheme and outlines the DPA process for industry, from the point of entering into DPA negotiations to fulfilling the terms of a DPA.
The draft code reflects stakeholder views received in the 2016 Deferred prosecution agreements public consultation and 2017 Proposed model for a deferred prosecution agreement scheme in Australia public consultation.
Feedback on the draft code received through this consultation will help to inform the final code of practice. The final code will be published when the scheme commences.
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On 6 December 2017, the government introduced the Crimes Legislation Amendment (Combatting Corporate Crime) Bill 2017 into Parliament. If passed by the Parliament, the Bill would establish a deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) scheme in Australia.
Under the proposed DPA scheme, the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions will have the option to invite a corporation that is alleged to have engaged in serious corporate crime to negotiate an agreement to comply with a range of specified conditions.
To obtain a DPA, a corporation may be required to, for example:
- cooperate with law enforcement
- provide evidence against culpable individuals
- admit to agreed facts
- agree to pay a financial penalty.
Where a corporation fulfils its obligations under a DPA, it would not be prosecuted for the offences specified in the DPA.