Under the recently enacted Criminal Justice Reform Act, Singaporean law now enables prosecutors to enter into Deferred Prosecution Agreements (DPAs) with corporates. This means prosecutors may choose not to pursue charges on the condition that the suspected corporate agrees to measures such as the payment of financial penalties, the implementation of appropriate compliance regimes and continued cooperation in investigations.
The new Singaporean framework bears obvious resemblances to DPA legislation in the UK. In particular, any proposed DPA is subject to confirmation by the High Court that it is in the interests of justice, and that its terms are fair, reasonable and proportionate. In addition, the court’s judgment, the DPA itself, and a statement of facts must be published.
A further similarity is that DPAs are available only to corporates and only in relation to a specified set of offences. In the case of Singaporean DPAs, the qualifying offences include corruption, money-laundering and offences relating to the receipt of stolen property.