chapter  28
26 Pages

ENFORCEMENT BY PUBLIC AUTHORITIES

The pattern which emerged over the centuries had a number of common characteristics.2 Firstly, there was the imposition of statutory criminal offences of strict liability (see para 28.08): this process has continued apace during the last century (see Chaps 4 and 5). Secondly, enforcement of these criminal offences has for the most part been left to local authorities,3 who have usually been granted a number of ancillary powers (see para 28.05). Thirdly, the harshness of these locally enforced strict liability offences has been moderated by an elaborate series of increasingly common-form defences (see para 28.13, et seq.). It is for consideration whether this whole pattern is now sufficiently uniform to merit consolidation in a single enactment. Fourthly, the piecemeal nature of the foregoing developments inevitably led to a haphazard machinery of enforcement;4 but, following some official recommendations,5 this has in more recent times been substantially rationalised (see para 28.02). Fifthly, in place of criminal proceedings,6 it may now be possible for the Authorities to obtain Enforcement Orders (see para 28.03); and this change to civil proceedings for injunctions may be encouraged by the UCP Directive (see para 4.01A). Sixthly, the authorities tend to seek compliance from deviant traders rather than prosecute them.7 Seventhly, for cross-border enforcement the EU is developing an International Marketing Supervision Network.8