The Canadian government has announced the results of its public consultation on corporate criminal wrongdoing and enforcement, which received written submissions from businesses, individuals, NGOs, and law firms, including Baker McKenzie. The government revealed that a majority of participants in the consultation process favoured the implementation of a deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) option for Canadian prosecutors dealing with corporate criminal misconduct. As a result of the consultation, the government announced its intention to introduce a DPA system in Canada, which will bring us in line with key trading partners, including the U.S., U.K., and Australia as we move toward a globalized enforcement environment.
As we have written since 2014 (here, here, and here), Canada is long overdue for a robust DPA system with appropriate judicial oversight, which, when employed in the right circumstances, will serve as a much needed tool in Canada’s efforts to combat corporate misconduct and to encourage self-reporting, compliance and good governance.
The specifics of the DPA legislation are yet to be announced, however the government’s statement indicates that Canadian DPAs will be implemented, as we have advocated, with judicial supervision, similar to that of the U.K. regime. Stay tuned for more insights and analysis as the details of the DPA legislation begin to take shape.