Draft code of practice for DPA scheme released
The Australian government has released a draft code of practice for the deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) scheme that is currently proposed under the Crimes Legislation Amendment (Combating Corporate Crime) Bill 2017. This draft code is the culmination of government consultation on the matter since 31 March 2017. The draft code is designed to provide guidelines on the practical operation and implementation of the proposed DPA scheme, including about the circumstances in which the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions will negotiate a DPA with a corporation as well as the likely terms and features of a DPA. The government is currently seeking feedback on the draft code, which can be submitted before 9 July 2018.
“Modern Slavery” legislation passes in New South Wales
On 21 June 2018, New South Wales became the first state in Australia to pass specific modern slavery legislation. The legislation as passed is available here and is still yet to receive assent and become effective. There is currently no timetable for when this will occur. The Act provides for commercial organisations with annual turnover of at least AUD50 million and at least one employee in New South Wales to publish an ‘annual modern slavery statement’. There are significant penalties associated with failing to prepare an annual modern slavery statement. The Act also provides for the appointment of an Anti-Slavery Commissioner. A separate bill in the federal legislature relating to modern slavery is expected to be tabled for debate in the federal Parliament in the coming weeks.
Federal Modern Slavery Bill introduced into Parliament Closely following the passage of the New South Wales Modern Slavery Act on 21 June 2018 (see above), a federal Modern Slavery Bill was introduced to Parliament on 28 June 2018. Debate on the Bill has been adjourned until the next Parliamentary sittings period, which begins in August 2018, whilst the Government has reaffirmed its commitment to pass the Bill before the end of the year.