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Covenant on administrative fines and criminal-law sanctions


Published: 12 September 2018

The Covenant on administrative fines and criminal-law sanctions (Convenant bestuurlijke boetes en strafrechtelijke sancties) lays down the coordination procedure governing the choice between imposing an administrative fine or a sanction under criminal law in the context of specific instances of non-compliance with financial legislation.

The Covenant was created because non-compliance with certain provisions of financial legislation (“economic offences”) can be penalised by imposing either a criminal-law sanction or an administrative fine or by disclosing a fact. It is essential for the relevant authorities to coordinate with each other, as according to the “una via” principle no offence may be penalised more than once (e.g. the imposition of an administrative fine rules out criminal prosecution).

Conversely, the “una via” principle provides that an administrative fine may not be imposed for the relevant instance of non-compliance once criminal proceedings have been instituted and the investigation in court has started or once the right to institute criminal proceedings has lapsed because the party concerned has met the conditions set.

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