Monday, October 7, 2013
Caron Beaton-Wells (Melbourne) suggests The ACCC Immunity Policy for Cartel Conduct: Due for Review.
ABSTRACT: The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s Immunity Policy for Cartel Conduct is seen as a vital tool in detecting, stopping, prosecuting and deterring cartel conduct. In May 2013 the ACCC announced that it is conducting a review of the policy. The review is significant because, amongst other things, it will examine the way in which dual civil/criminal applications for immunity are being handled in a process involving the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions, introduced in 2009. Drawing on a broader research project relating to immunity (leniency) policies, this paper raises a series of questions that should be treated as relevant to the ACCC’s review, including questions relating to the operation and interpretation of the policy, its effectiveness in meeting its stated objectives and its role and effects in the overall system of enforcement and compliance.