Offences by partnerships: supplementary

Criminal Finances Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 10:15 am on 22nd November 2016.

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Question proposed, That the clause stand part of the Bill.

With this it will be convenient to consider clauses 43 and 44.

Photo of Ben Wallace Ben Wallace Minister of State (Home Office) (Security)

Clause 42 makes provision for rules of criminal procedure in relation to the prosecution of companies to apply to prosecutions of partnerships for the new offences in part 3. It mirrors section 15 of the Bribery Act 2010 and provides that proceedings for an offence under clauses 37 or 38 are to be brought in the name of the partnership and not that of an individual partner; and that any resulting fine is paid out of the assets of the partnership. The clause also applies existing rules of criminal procedure applicable where bodies corporate are prosecuted. They cover various matters including the transfer of cases from the magistrates court to the Crown court, the representation of the relevant body in court, the entering of pleas and the taking of action in the relevant body’s absence.

As I mentioned in debating an earlier group, clause 43 amends a number of pieces of existing legislation, adding the new offences created by part 3 to the lists of offences for which various powers are available, which will assist the effective investigation and prosecution of the offences. That includes allowing the CPS to require suspected persons to answer questions or provide information in relation to those offences; allowing for serious crime prevention orders to be imposed on relevant bodies; and providing for deferred prosecution agreements.

Clause 44 is simply an interpretation clause, defining terms within part 3. I hope the clauses stand part of the Bill.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause 42 accordingly ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Clauses 43 and 44 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

New Clause 9