10.2There are two aspects to the double jeopardy rule. First is the idea that a person should not be subjected to more than one penalty for the same conduct that breaches the law. Second is the principle against requiring a person to defend themselves against simultaneous or numerous penalty actions relating to the same conduct. The justifications for the rule are as follows:
10.3In the criminal context, the rule is protected by section 26(2) of the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 which provides “No one who has been finally acquitted or convicted of, or pardoned for, an offence shall be tried or punished for it again.”
10.6However, a range of approaches are taken across the statutes. There may be reasons for this that relate to the nature of the various statutory regimes, but those reasons are not abundantly clear.
I am conscious that there be no element of double punishment arising out of penalties being imposed upon the society and either of the two individual defendants. In fixing a penalty I take that into account, bearing in mind that I am clear that individual penalties are required but of a significantly lesser degree than that on the society.See also Commerce Commission v Wrightson NMA Ltd (1994) 6 TCLR 279 (HC) at 285; and Commerce Commission v Accent Footwear Ltd (1993) 5 TCLR 448 (HC) at 451. It was also considered by Judge Aitken in the District Court when imposing statutory damages under the Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act 2003: Commerce Commission v Galistair Enterprises Ltd DC Auckland CRI-2007-004-4009,
(1) Criminal proceedings for an offence under this Part may be commenced against a person in relation to particular conduct whether or not proceedings for a civil penalty under this Part have been commenced against the person in relation to the same or substantially the same conduct.See also Biosecurity Act 1993, s 154L; Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act 1996, s 124F.
(2) Proceedings under this Part for a civil penalty against a person in relation to particular conduct are stayed if criminal proceedings against the person are or have been commenced for an offence under this Part in relation to the same or substantially the same conduct.
(3) After the criminal proceedings referred to in subsection (2) have been completed or withdrawn, a person may apply to have the stay lifted on the civil penalty proceedings referred to in that subsection.