Guidance for future pecuniary penalty regimes
Legislation Advisory Committee guidelines
2.21We suggest that a section dedicated to pecuniary penalties should be added to the LAC Guidelines on Process and Content of Legislation (LAC Guidelines). The LAC provides advice on the development of legislation. Its overarching purpose is to help improve the quality of law making. The LAC Guidelines set out central aspects of the process and elements of the content of legislation that should always be addressed when creating legislation. They have been approved by Cabinet, and ministers and officials are required to confirm to the Cabinet Legislation Committee that a draft bill complies with the legal principles and obligations identified in the LAC Guidelines.
2.22The section on pecuniary penalties should do two things. First, it should advise when pecuniary penalties should and should not be introduced into a statutory scheme. This advice should be based on the recommendations in this Report and the discussion in Chapters 4 and 5. Second, it should set out best practice for their design. This could be achieved by the adoption of the Guidelines in Appendix A of this Report.
2.23We suggest that consideration could be given to the pecuniary penalties section forming part of the LAC Guidelines that deals with other forms of statutory penalty (notably criminal offences and infringement offences), so that they provide comprehensive advice as to when one or another form of penalty might be appropriate.