Justice deferred is justice denied?
The properties of justice have long excited comment, with Lord Hewart CJ remarking that ‘Justice should not only be done, but should manifestly and undoubtedly be seen to be done’ This chapter considers the approach of the UK authorities in combating financial crime, contrasting with the approach of the US. In the US, the enforcement authorities, the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission, have deployed Deferred Prosecution Agreements (DPA) for many years and obtained significant income from fines. In 2014, DPA’s became available to the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) by virtue of the Crime and Courts Act 2013. A DPA, a discretionary tool, is subject to court approval. In 2018, new SFO Director Lisa Osofsky emphasised that: The public interest analysis is crucial in considering whether a DPA could be appropriate. The SFO make clear that ‘a DPA is not a private plea, ‘deal’ or ‘bargain’ between the prosecutor and the company.