Will DPAs be abused by corporates?

Given Singapore's renown for its no-nonsense approach to crime, I am surprised that it is now considering deferred prosecution agreements (DPAs) for some corporate offences (New legal framework proposed for corporate offences; June 16).

A DPA allows a prosecution to be suspended for a defined period provided the organisation meets certain specified conditions.

DPAs can be used for fraud, bribery and other economic crimes.

My worry is that if DPAs are adopted, corporate entities may be tempted to push their luck a little further, knowing that they can negotiate terms with the Attorney-General Chambers under the DPA and avoid harsh prosecution if they are caught.

As the High Court must sanction the DPAs, this also unnecessarily creates more work for the court.

Rajasegaran Ramasamy

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 20, 2018, with the headline 'Will DPAs be abused by corporates?'. Print Edition | Subscribe