The liability of legal persons for a crime has been introduced to the Czech Law in 2012. Since then both number of commenced criminal prosecutions against legal persons and number of final judicial decision imposing a sanction on legal person have been significantly increasing each year.
86 criminal prosecutions were commenced in 2013, 219 in 2014 and even 274 in 2015. The most frequent sanction imposed on legal person is a fine, but neither prohibition of activity nor complete abolition of a legal person is an exception.
With effectiveness as of December 2016 has been amended Act No. 418/2011 Coll., on criminal liability of legal persons, which amendment allows a legal person to release itself from liability for a crime, provided that it proves that it exerted all efforts, which could be reasonably required, to avoid the crime.
This brings unique opportunity to corporations to mitigate the risk of potential criminal prosecution to minimum inasmuch the necessary part – and we believe that often also itself sufficient – of proofing that an organization exerted all effort reasonably required, is that it established a complex and quality Criminal Compliance Program.
It is a comprehensive system of internal corporate measures and procedures for prevention, detection and response to possible criminal behaviour of employees and managers of an organization. Without the introduction of such a program, it would be virtually impossible for a legal person to prove that it did everything it could be required to prevent the wrongful conduct of its employees and managers in particular.
Preparation of a Criminal Compliance Program includes in particular the following steps and measures:
- Analysis and revision of internal regulations and processes;
- Preparation of the Criminal Compliance Program;
- Implementation or implementation support;
- Training of staff and managers;
- Evaluating the performance of the program and its further improvement.
Should your organization decide to respond to current developments in this field, our law firm is ready to carry out the entire process and to provide you with the necessary support according to your individual needs and specific requirements.