The Law Commission's latest report, Pecuniary Penalties: Guidance for Legislative Design (R133, 2014) was tabled on 30 October 2014. Pecuniary penalties are financial penalties that policymakers are increasingly opting to use in place of criminal sanctions to punish and deter misconduct in a number of regulatory regimes. They were first used in 1986 in the Commerce Act 1986 and now appear in 18 Acts of Parliament.
As a result of its review, the Commission has made nine recommendations to Government, and has also set out a list of 21 guidance points for policymakers that cover best practice when designing pecuniary penalties. The Commission recommends these guidance points be included in the Legislation Advisory Committee’s Guidelines on the Process and Content of Legislation.