Chapter 1

This Issues Paper

1.27In chapter 2 of this Issues Paper we describe the range of civil pecuniary penalties in New Zealand and make some observations about the scope of our review. In chapter 3 we consider the nature of civil pecuniary penalties. We conclude that they are a grave form of State punishment that can have serious financial and reputational implications for an offender. We characterise them as a “hybrid” because they are imposed through civil proceedings, without the benefit of criminal procedural protections. We conclude that hybrid sanctions may have a valuable role to play, but suggest that they should be subject to robust justification. In the light of this, in chapter 4 we ask questions about the circumstances when their use in a statutory regime might be warranted or justified. In chapter 5 we describe the principles that we consider should dictate the design of civil pecuniary penalties and discuss the impact of the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990. Chapters 6 and 7 deal with the wide range of procedural and legislative design issues that arise for civil pecuniary penalties. Finally, in chapter 8 we ask what form our recommendations should take. Is guidance for officials considering civil pecuniary penalty regimes sufficient, or should we propose the enactment of legislative rules?