Professor Peter Whelan’s research is endorsed in the New Zealand Parliament
Professor Whelan’s work was favourably cited in the New Zealand Parliament during the 2nd reading of their Commerce (Criminalisation of Cartels) Amendment Bill.
The Commerce (Criminalisation of Cartels) Amendment Bill is currently making its way through Parliament in New Zealand. If adopted, it will introduce criminal cartel sanctions in New Zealand for the first time.
On 25 October 2018, during the 2nd reading of the Bill, Gareth Hughes MP stated in a speech in the New Zealand Parliament that: 'I can't put it any better than Professor Peter Whelan, who is an expert on these issues who said that criminal sanctions should be introduced in New Zealand. They act to secure deterrence; they help bolster the administrative enforcement of cartel law in New Zealand and the operation of the administrative leniency programme. The key thing is if you going to only have a dollar penalty as the ultimate sanction, there is the risk that those who knowingly are operating a cartel will be quite happy to pay the fine. This is why we need to make sure that the legislation has teeth'.
Professor Whelan has published a monograph on the topic of criminal cartel sanctions: The Criminalisation of European Cartel Enforcement: Theoretical, Legal, and Practical Challenges, Oxford University Press. He has been involved in the New Zealand process regarding cartel criminalisation for a number of years.
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, which would have introduced criminal cartel sanctions in New Zealand. Such sanctions were eventually rejected in New Zealand.
In February 2018, a new Bill was introduced which attempts yet again to introduce such sanctions. In 2018, Professor Whelan submitted written evidence on the Bill and gave oral evidence to the New Zealand Parliament for the second time, on that occasion to the Economic Development, Science and Innovation Committee concerning the Commerce (Criminalisation of Cartels) Amendment Bill.
His comments were later cited and responded to in an official report created by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment in New Zealand. The Bill is now at its second committee stage (i.e., in front of the Committee of the Whole House).