The Home Office announced last week that it will conduct an independent review of the criminal disclosure regime and the challenges that arise in fraud investigations (the Review). The Review comes on the heels of the UK government’s broader fraud strategy (which committed to such a review) and the upcoming failure to prevent fraud offence (see here).
The Review will report its findings in two parts:
1. The Disclosure Regime
The Review will investigate the application of the disclosure regime and challenges faced in criminal investigations where a large volume of digital material is being reviewed.
The Review will consider current guidelines on disclosure and evaluate both legislative and non-legislative mechanisms to improve the regime.
The Review will consider whether the nature of current fraud offences meets the challenges of modern fraud, including whether current penalties are still appropriate. Consideration will also be given to whether existing civil powers go far enough in tackling fraud and will explore the possibility of a fraud-specific order.
The Review is expected to report on the Disclosure Regime in summer 2024; and fraud offences in Q2 2025.