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Canada to introduce deferred prosecution agreements

Jaclyn Jaeger | March 6, 2018

Good news for companies headquartered in Canada: Deferred prosecution agreements may soon be coming to the country.

Widely used in the United States—and less frequently in the United Kingdom, France, and Australia—deferred prosecution agreements (DPAs) allow prosecutors to suspend the criminal prosecution of a company if it agrees to fulfill certain requirements, like paying a significant financial penalty and implementing or enhancing compliance measures. Now, it looks like Canada is moving the discussion forward, as well.

Under the current framework of the Canadian criminal justice system, prosecutors have two choices concerning corporate defendants: to prosecute or not to prosecute. But the Canadian government moved the discussion forward on Feb. 22, when it announced its plans to introduce legislation to bring a DPA scheme to the country “to be implemented through judicial remediation orders as an additional tool for holding corporate offenders to account.”

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