Law Commission releases issues paper on civil pecuniary penalties

The Law Commission is seeking public feedback on the use of financial penalties by enforcement agencies to punish corporates and individuals for breaches of the law.

In an issues paper (Civil Pecuniary Penalties (IP33, 2012)) published today, the Commission notes bodies like the Commerce Commission are increasingly resorting to financial, or pecuniary, penalties instead of criminal sanctions to deal with a range of commercial and financial offending such as insider trading and price fixing.

The Issues Paper describes how civil pecuniary penalties are used in New Zealand. It asks questions about the nature of these penalties and when it might be appropriate to use them in legislation. It also asks questions about what process and protections should be used when they are imposed. The Commission seeks views on all of these matters.

The Commission welcomes any comments or submissions on the Issues Paper. The closing date for submissions is Friday 15 February 2013.