On 2 November 2017, the Government published a package of measures designed to strengthen Ireland's response to white collar crime. The package contains 28 measures, each with a specific target date for completion. It also published the Criminal Justice (Corruption Offences) Bill 2017 which is separately considered below.
Responsibility for completing the various action items in the white collar crime package has been assigned to the Department of Finance, the Department of Justice and Equality and the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation. While some of the actions are already under way, Quarter 2 of 2019 is the outside implementation date for all of the actions.
The Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement will be established as a new independent company law enforcement compliance agency so as to give it greater autonomy, particularly as regards recruitment and staffing.
A Garda-led Joint Agency Task Force will be launched on a pilot basis, to tackle criminality in a specific area. It will operate initially for a period of six months looking at the issue of payment fraud, including invoice redirection fraud and credit card fraud.
A Criminal Procedure Bill will be published with the aim of streamlining criminal proceedings by ensuring all pre-trial
legal issues have been resolved before a jury is empanelled. It is hoped that this will reduce the amount of time jurors are required to make themselves available for trials and lower the risk of a number of jurors having to drop out of the jury for various reasons. The Bill also provides for the greater use of technology in criminal trials, including the electronic submission of warrants and for the more efficient and widespread use of video-link hearings.
The Criminal Justice (Corruption Offences) Bill 2017
The Criminal Justice (Corruption Offences) Bill 2017 (the "Bill") was published on the same day as the white collar crime measures. If enacted, the Bill will repeal and replace the seven previous Prevention of Corruption Acts 1889 to 2010, introduce some additional offences and generally consolidate and modernise Ireland's anti-corruption laws. The Bill addresses six recommendations made by the Mahon Tribunal and deals with corruption in both the public and private sectors. Some key provisions of the Bill are outlined below.
Section 5 of the Bill contains the offence of active (bribe-giving) and passive (bribe-taking) corruption. It addresses corruption within both the public...