DPAs don’t cut it, says Patricia Adams of Probe International. A trial here or elsewhere would not only expose who knew what and when within the firm; it would also expose who in government might have been involved.
Canada has come full circle, with prosecution of corporate crimes again determined by politics. Read the latest from Probe International’s Patricia Adams on SNC-Lavalin in today’s National Post opinion.
What are deferred prosecution agreements (or remediation agreements), how did Canada get them, what are the potential benefits and what are the down sides? Patricia Adams of Probe International is firmly in the latter camp: “… they turn the prosecutor into the prosecutor, the judge and the jury. Because of that they are undermining the rule of law — they are essentially political instruments.”
Patricia Adams: There’s no evidence that deferred prosecution agreements enhance anything other than agency budgets.
Deferred prosecution agreements that let companies pay fines for wrongdoing could backfire by encouraging repeat criminality. Probe International’s Patricia Adams for the National Post.
DPAs were virtually unheard of in business settings prior to 2004, but their growing popularity in the U.S. is now being felt in Canada with SNC-Lavalin lobbying the Liberal government to have its fate determined by a DPA, rather than the criminal trial the Harper government pursued.