The issue in this question requires an analysis of the law on fraud before the Fraud Act 2006, what changes were brought about by the Act and how successful has the act been in reforming the law on fraud. Each of these will now be discussed.
In April 1998, the Law Commission as…
The focus of the Commission’s report had one two different and competing objectives. The first one being that of enhancing the scope of the criminal law of fraud so as to prosecute fraudsters successfully and award them with appropriate sentence, however, this had to be balanced so that unacceptable restriction were not placed on personal freedom or the law to become so vague that it would be contrary to rule of law. The other one was to do away with the weak and inconsistent conspiracy to defraud, under which it was a crime for two people to agree to do something which, in the absence of an agreement, either of them could lawfully do. The Commission went on to conclude that if a general fraud offence would be introduced, criminal law could be improved as they thought it would be more understandable by juries. The charges which were being used in such trials were numerous, and in their opinion none of them gave a clear meaning of “fraud”. The statutory offences in their opinion were too specific and so did not provide a clear portrayal of fraud; and the common law offence of conspiracy to defraud was wide and it was not of much help when looking for a distinction between fraudulent and lawful conduct.1
Further, it was stated that a general offence of fraud would lead to effective prosecution, as there had been times when certain specific offences were charged wrongly as there were other suitable offences. Further, there were cases under conspiracy to defraud brought about by prosecution which would never have been charged if a generalized crime with a clear definition had been there. Thus, such problem had lead to higher costs of appeal and unfair acquittals
Finally, a single crime of fraud in the opinion of the Commission would have led to simplification of the law of fraud, which would be helpful in determining whether an act ...
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