Purpose – There has been a significant increase in the number of financial crime regulatory offences (as
distinct from traditional fraud offences). The purpose of this paper is to address the question of how should
those in positions of control and influence in management take steps to ensure the integrity of those under
them and also the relevant conduct of their customers and clients in light of this proliferation.
Design/methodology/approach – The work, which is grounded in the field of criminology, uses a
combination doctrinal (legal) and qualitative methods. Its emphasis is on mala prohibita (“wrong because they
are prohibited”) offences rather than mala in se (“wrong or evil in itself”). The work situates regulatory
offences within the broader criminological debate regarding financial crime. It then analyses and reviews the
significance of the requirement for certainty in relation to mala prohibita offences. By reference to some
Australian offences, the analysis moves to some offences where uncertainty manifests. Finally, the work
proposes some practical ways in which those in positions of control and influence may provide certainty to
those under them to ensure integrity.
Findings – The paper argues that a paramount step for those in positions of control and influence, in taking
steps to ensure the integrity of those under them and also the relevant conduct of their customers and clients
is to provide certainty with regard to the illicit activities relevant to their organisation to those persons under
them. The work proposes some practical ways in which those in positions of control and influence may
provide certainty to those under them to ensure integrity.
Originality/value – The work is novel because of its focus on regulatory mala prohibita offences rather than
the traditional criminal law or mala in se offences (in relation to which there has been much more discussion).