n Acta Juridica - Dealing with corporate defaulters : curbing the unfettered exercise of criminal law : enforcement and regulatory regime : part IV

Volume 2010, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0065-1346
  • E-ISSN: 1996-2088



The 1973 Companies Act used the criminal law extensively to enforce numerous provisions of the Act. This process of criminalisation proved ineffective and many provisions of the Act were honoured in the breach rather than the compliance. The drafters of the 2008 Act, following comparative precedent, sought to decriminalise the enforcement mechanisms contained in the Act by introducing a complaint procedure to be investigated by a newly created Companies Commission or the Takeover Panel, as well as introducing compliance notices. This paper examines the international trend to remove criminal sanctions from company law and to introduce alternative means of enforcement. It then proceeds to evaluate the new measures contained in the 2008 Act.

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