New UK legislation paves the way for increased non-conviction-based asset seizures
Recent changes to the non-conviction based asset forfeiture regime in England and Wales will be of interest to any lawyers advising companies and individuals holding money or property in the UK. Of the two main provisions highlighted here many headlines have been generated by the introduction of Unexplained Wealth Orders which enable the authorities to freeze and recover property from PEP's or persons suspected of involvement in or association with serious criminality. Of far greater practical application and interest to practitioners however will be the new wide ranging powers allowing the police to obtain bank account freezing orders in cases where the monies held are thought to derive from criminal conduct.
Digital evidence gathering: applying international frameworks in the United Kingdom
The ubiquitous use of digital communications presents a unique legal, practical and jurisdictional challenge for the criminal justice system. The volume and complexity of digital evidence is increasing exponentially. In most investigations into serious crime, enforcement agencies want to identify and analyse electronic communications. In this fast-moving environment, different jurisdictions are taking competing approaches to how investigators can gather digital evidence for the prevention, disruption and prosecution of crime. This articles discusses the apparently divergent American and European frameworks for addressing this issue, and consider the practicalities of how they might interact in the future.
The controversial use of glass-enclosed docks in the French courts
The new Paris courthouse, which opened on 16 April 2018, is equipped with glass-enclosed docks in which the defendants are placed throughout their hearing. Large glass panes fully enclose the defendants and a narrow gap allows them to communicate with their lawyers throughout the hearing. This paper elaborates on the increased use of glass-enclosed docks in which defendants are placed for their hearing in court. It then goes on to review the violations of fair trial rights entailed by the installation of such structures and the consequent push-back from defence lawyers and judicial authorities.
The French anti-corruption agency takes on a new role with the first coordinated resolution of a foreign bribery case
The first DPA was signed in France in coordination with the DOJ in an international corruption case which relates to the bribing of a Libyan middleman for the obtention of investment contracts from a sovereign fund and to the manipulating of the LIBOR rate. It involved Société Générale, a major bank. The monitoring will be conducted by the newly created French Anti-Corruption Agency. This case exemplifies the role played by this new agency, which has been conducting since late 2017 random on-site and off-site inspections of French companies in excess of 500 employees and €1m turnover.
The Department of Justice's new 'piling on' policy
A new DOJ policy discourages 'piling on' multiple penalties against companies for the same misconduct. The policy encourages DOJ attorneys to coordinate with non-US authorities and consider the amount of fines companies pay in other jurisdictions. Companies have received such credits only if they cooperate to the DOJ's satisfaction, which will be required under the new policy.
Is the Argentine legal system fit for prosecutorial settlements?
On 1 March 2018, a new law introducing corporate criminal liability for certain bribery related offences came into force in Argentina. This law also introduced the possibility of entering into prosecutorial settlements, in exchange for sentence leniency. While these agreements could be a valuable tool for the prosecution of corrupt practices, conflicts with key features of the Argentine procedural system could discourage corporations from negotiating with authorities.
Failure to prevent the facilitation of tax evasion: the great British shakedown - December 2017
HMRC has managed to persuade the government to legislate and create a new offence for failure to prevent the facilitation of tax evasion. However, the case for the new offence is not well made and its objectives could have been achieved with more vigorous prosecution of existing offences.
Jurisdiction, territoriality and production orders for data stored abroad - December 2017
The US Supreme Court granted the US Department of Justice’s petition and will hear the Microsoft Corp v United States case in 2018, so all eyes are on the US to see how it will influence this increasingly relevant body of international law.
US prosecutors face major setback in push to normalise use of testimony compelled outside country - December 2017
A US appeals court threw out the convictions of two UK citizens charged with Libor manipulation because key evidence was derived from testimony that had been compelled in the UK. The case is likely to complicate future cross-border investigations where testimony is compelled outside the US and used indirectly in a US prosecution.
Recent US trends in cybercrime prevention
This article will discuss a brief overview of the various types of cybercrime, with examples, and the United States Government’s response to this ever increasing threat.