Professor Peter Whelan presents oral evidence to the New Zealand legislature
On 27 June 2018, Professor Whelan gave evidence on the Commerce (Criminalisation of Cartels) Amendment Bill to Economic Development, Science and Innovation Committee of the New Zealand Parliament.
The Commerce (Criminalisation of Cartels) Amendment Bill will introduce in New Zealand criminal sanctions (imprisonment) for cartel activity (e.g., price-fixing or bid-rigging). The Bill is currently at Committee stage. Drawing upon his published research in this area of law, Professor Whelan argued in front of the relevant Committee that: (i) criminal sanctions can deter cartels; (ii) over-criminalisation needs to be avoided in this context; (iii) to avoid claims of over-criminalisation, the criminal cartel offence should line up approximately with the moral norm against deceptive conduct; and (iv) the best way to do this is to have a criminal cartel offence that contains a notification/publication carve out. Professor Whelan also submitted in writing an amendment to the Commerce (Criminalisation of Cartels) Amendment Bill that would implement his proposed notification/publication carve out.
This is the second time that Professor Whelan submitted oral evidence to the New Zealand Parliament. In November 2012, he presented oral evidence to the Commerce Committee of the New Zealand Parliament on Clause 18 of their Commerce (Cartels and Other Matters) Amendment Bill.