Comment: Insider dealing should stay a criminal offence
Thursday 05 June 1997
However, it is one thing to say something fashionable while in Opposition, quite another to do it when actually in Government. While any such move would recognise the practicalities and difficulties associated with addressing insider dealing, it would also to many Old Labour supporters be seen as something of a betrayal, a formal recognition of the principle that there is one law for the poor and an altogether different one for the rich.
On the positive side, making insider dealing a civil offence would ease the burden of proof and allow many more such cases to be brought to the courts. On the negative side, it would rule out the penalty of imprisonment and the people's right to brand offenders of this sort as criminals. Social security cheats would continue to be treated as the thieves they are, financial ones would escape with a fine and a ban. This is not really good enough and it is certainly not what society demands.
In any case, it is not at all clear that transforming the offence into a civil one would make it any easier to deal with the real endemic problem of insider dealing. This is not the hundreds of small to medium sized cases which each year founder on lack of evidence or the law's inability adequately to define the crime, but the big professional City insider dealing rings, operating furtively behind the cover of offshore immunity. Here the problem is not one of prosecution, but that of discovery and investigation. Even in civil proceedings, it would not be possible to bring a case on circumstantial evidence alone.
Abandoning criminal sanctions in favour of civil ones is not the solution. Rather it is in beefing up powers of investigation, allowing regulators to mount undercover operations, tap phones and the like. Only then will the real villains start to be brought to book.
- 1 Gun instructor accidentally shot dead by nine-year-old girl with Uzi gun
- 2 Miley Cyrus' homeless MTV VMAs date, Jesse Helt, is wanted by the police
- 3 Notting Hill Carnival: Woman shares selfie after being ‘punched in face for telling man to stop groping her’
- 4 Pamela Anderson rejects ice bucket challenge because of ALS experiments on animals: 'Mice had holes drilled into their skulls'
- 5 Homer Simpson has taken the ALS ice bucket challenge because of course he has
Exclusive: We share blame for creating 'jihad generation', says Muslim strategist
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
Scottish independence TV debate: Pumped-up Alex Salmond bounces back in bruising second round against Alistair Darling
Jeremy Clarkson is a cultural tumour and needs to be removed, says comedian Frankie Boyle
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
- < Previous
- Next >
iJobs Money & Business
£40000 - £48000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: C# Devel...
£45000 - £60000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: C# Swift...
Negotiable: Harrington Starr: A fast growing Financial Services organisation b...
£50000 - £60000 per annum + excellent benefits: Harrington Starr: An award-win...