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Deferred Prosecution Agreements: Code of Practice and Consultation response

The Director of the Serious Fraud Office and Director of Public Prosecutions published, in June 2013 for consultation, a draft Code of Practice explaining how they intend to use the new Deferred Prosecution Agreements, when they come into force on 24 February 2014.  The consultation closed in September 2013.

The revised Code of Practice and the Consultation response can be accessed below:

Please see accompanying press release dated 14 February 2014.

About Deferred Prosecution Agreements

DPAs were introduced in Schedule 17 of the Crime and Courts Act 2013

Under a DPA a prosecutor charges a company with a criminal offence but proceedings are automatically suspended.

The company agrees to a number of conditions, such as paying a financial penalty, paying compensation and co-operating with future prosecutions of individuals. If the company does not honour the conditions, the prosecution may resume.

DPAs can be used for fraud, bribery and other economic crime. They apply to organisations, not individuals. 

A DPA could be appropriate where the public interest is not best served by mounting a prosecution. Entering into a DPA will be a transparent public event and the process will be supervised by a judge.