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HomePolicy Articles Article Summary

The Enforcement of Corporate Criminal and Securities Laws

Summary of Discussion by David Brook

In late 2002 the Public Policy Forum convened a roundtable discussion on the subject of white-collar crime in Canada, inviting regulators, public service officials, private industry executives, and academics to participate. This publication, authored by David Brook, is a summary of the evening’s discussion. Brook explains that roundtable participants were asked to focus on four issues: 1) the adequacy of Canadian criminal and securities laws; 2) investigation; 3) prosecution; and, 4) sentencing. The report summarizes discussion on these issues and provides recommendations for actions roundtable participants felt could be taken to strengthen Canada’s legal system.

Generally speaking, roundtable participants agreed that Canada’s criminal laws concerning fraud were adequate. Brook notes there was, however, widespread agreement that the process by which criminal law is enforced is not working and that enforcement needs to be given more emphasis within the Canadian legal system. While participants felt that using criminal law to address serious corporate fraud was important, many cited the increasing complexity of prosecution as one reason for the difficulty of enforcement.

Of the recommendations proposed by roundtable participants, Brook devotes the most attention to the lack of resources to deal with investigation and prosecution. Participants proposed, as Brook notes, novel policy solutions to confront this problem; a new organization with a specific mandate and dedicated funding is one example. Finally, in considering sentencing, the roundtable noted that harsher penalties could deter future corporate malfeasance. With these proposals enacted, Brook writes, participants believe Canadian and foreign investors will have greater confidence in Canada’s capital markets.

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Policy Publication Details

Author(s): David Brook;
Publisher: Public Policy Forum [ Visit Website ]
Year Published: 2002; Publisher Type: Research Institute
Publicly Available: Yes Research Focus: National;
Registration Required: No Language: English
Payment Required: No Publication Format: Adobe PDF

Subjects / Categories:

Policy Articles / Crime & Justice / Legislation
Policy Articles / Monetary & Capital Management / Securities Regulation
Policy Articles / Economy / Economic Systems
Policy Articles / Crime & Justice
Policy Articles / Economy
Policy Articles / Monetary & Capital Management
Policy Articles / Crime & Justice / Legislation / 2002
Policy Articles / Economy / Economic Systems / 2002
Policy Articles / Monetary & Capital Management / Securities Regulation / 2002


Keywords / Tags:

white-collar crime; securities laws; investigation; prosecution; sentencing; corporate fraud; criminal laws; penalties; capital markets;