Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Release of Law Commission Paper on Civil Pecuniary Penalties

MEDIA RELEASE

8 November 2012

Hon Sir Grant Hammond KNZM

President

Law Commission

Release of Law Commission Paper on Civil Pecuniary Penalties

The Law Commission is seeking public feedback on the use of financial penalties by enforcement agencies to punish corporates and individuals for breaches of the law.

In an Issues Paper published today, the Commission notes bodies like the Commerce Commission are increasingly resorting to financial, or pecuniary, penalties instead of criminal sanctions to deal with a range of commercial and financial offending such as insider trading and price fixing.

These penalties can involve very substantial sums – up to $1m for an individual or more than $10m for a company – and are frequently used by enforcement bodies to punish breaches of a wide range of commercial and finance law including securities and overseas investment laws and anti-money laundering legislation.

They were first used in legislation in 1986 and they are now a feature of 15 Acts of Parliament.

The Commission notes that one of the attractions of financial penalties for enforcement bodies is that they are easier to obtain than criminal convictions because they are a civil rather than a criminal matter, requiring a lower standard of proof and more relaxed rules of evidence and procedure.

They can also have benefits for offenders. There is no chance of imprisonment with a civil pecuniary penalty and less risk to a person’s travel and work opportunities because of the lack of conviction.

However, the President of the Law Commission and project leader, Sir Grant Hammond, said the risks and benefits of an increasing reliance on civil penalties in New Zealand statutes needed to be carefully weighed.

For example, under a civil penalties regime, the court does not need to be convinced beyond reasonable doubt before it penalises a defendant. And the defendant does not benefit from protections like the right to silence and presumption of innocence. Also, there is a risk that civil pecuniary penalties might allow white-collar, corporate offenders to be treated more favourably than those accused of more traditional criminal offending.

“It is essential that our enforcement agencies are able to enforce their laws effectively. The question is whether we have the correct balance between those regulatory needs and fairness for individuals. There needs to be a debate about when such penalties are desirable, how they should be formulated and what safeguards there should be.”

The Issues Paper describes how civil pecuniary penalties are used in New Zealand. It asks questions about the nature of these penalties and when it might be appropriate to use them in legislation. It also asks questions about what process and protections should be used when they are imposed. The Commission seeks views on all of these matters.

The Commission welcomes any comments or submissions on the Issues Paper. The closing date for submissions is Friday 15 February 2013. The Issues Paper is available from the Law Commission’s website at www.lawcom.govt.nz/project/law-relating-civil-penalties/issues-paper.

-ENDS-

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

False Electoral Return: John Banks Sentenced To Community Detention, Community Work

“The conviction of John Banks today is another sad chapter for John Banks and the ACT Party”, says Labour candidate for Epsom Michael Wood.

“Mr Banks was found guilty of electoral fraud in June. Regardless of what sentence is handed down, his reputation is in tatters. Sentencing is a matter for the court, and publicly deriding him further brings little benefit.”

“With the conviction confirmed, it is time for the ACT Party to step up to the mark and apologise to the people of Epsom. Mr Banks has suffered the consequences of his actions, but so far the ACT Party has gotten off scott-free” More>>

 

Parliament Today:

Gordon Campbell: On The Rise Of ISIS And Labour

While global attention got distracted by the fate of MH17 and the atrocities in Gaza, the world’s other mega ‘bad news’ story – the rise of ISIS-led fundamentalism in Iraq – has reached a tipping point. More>>

ALSO:

Rebuild: Christchurch City Council Releases Milestone Report

The Cameron Partners report says the Council may need to find an additional $783 million to $883 million by 2019... Options Cameron Partners proposed include increasing rates, borrowing more, maximising insurance payments, and freeing up capital from its commercial assets. More>>

ALSO:

Parliament Today: Parliament Adjourns

The 50th Parliament has adjourned for the final time. After the completion of the adjournment debate, MPs left for the campaign trail with Parliament to be dissolved on August 14 ahead of the September 20 election. More>>

ALSO:

Novopayout: Government-Owned Company To Take Over School Payroll

After lengthy negotiations, the Ministry of Education and the existing school payroll provider, Talent2, have settled both on the amounts payable by Talent2 towards the costs of remediating the Novopay service and a new operating model for the school payroll system. More>>

ALSO:

Employment: Labour Will Raise Minimum Wage, Restore Work Rights

A Labour government will raise the minimum wage $2 an hour to $16.25 and restore work rights to ensure the benefits of economic growth are shared fairly by all New Zealanders, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. More>>

ALSO:

Police: Crewe File Review Released

No new evidence has come to light implicating any specific person as being responsible for the murders of Jeannette and Harvey Crewe... The review identifies there is a distinct possibility that Exhibit 350 (the brass .22 cartridge case) may be fabricated evidence, and that if this is the case, that a member of Police would have been responsible. More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf Issue #49: Gordon Campbell Interviews Laila Harre

For 25 years, Labour and National have been in virtual agreement about the basics of economic policy, and differed mainly on how to go about managing its social consequences. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news