For the fourth in our Economic Crime Plan Thought Leadership Series, Michael Bowes QC, expert in economic crime law, argues that many of the right laws and structures are in place to enforce economic crime law, but that more needs to be done to put these into practice effectively.
Michael recommends more investment in specialist resources, a refocus on swifter prosecutions, more effective use of civil asset recovery and greater use of public–private partnerships.
While welcoming the role of the National Economic Crime Centre (NECC), Michael suggests developing it from a coordination hub to a driving force in economic crime enforcement. He also urges the anticipated Economic Crime Court blueprint to move beyond building plans to a better procedural framework. Michael would also like to see specialist judges, enhanced case management and much more proportionate disclosure rules, which he claims slow down many trials.
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In July 2019, the UK government launched its first Economic Crime Plan (2019–2022) and, in March 2023, the UK government launched its second Economic Crime Plan (2023-2026). This project tracks and reviews the implementation of these plans.