Negotiated settlements are increasingly regarded as an alternative tool against corporate bribery, with numerous countries now embracing such settlements. In England and Wales, amidst concerns relating to corporate criminal liability, the government introduced deferred prosecution agreements (DPAs) in 2014.
This presentation examines three key aspects of the development of the DPA regime to date, particularly in the aftermath of the Airbus DPA, that have resulted in a weak foundational basis for the regime notwithstanding its robust legal framework. Specifically, the presentation explores: whether a DPA is in the public interest; the requirement of self-reporting; and the terms of a DPA.
While DPAs were enacted to overcome obstacles to prosecuting companies and they have been widely lauded, such contentions are not convincing. The argument advanced here is that practice has been haphazard, rather than tied to any core principles, and lacks a clear underlying purpose. This situation is particularly evident in the three areas discussed, which leads to the conclusion that the DPA regime stands on shaky foundations.