11. Disqualification of company directors

Guideline users should be aware that the Equal Treatment Bench Book covers important aspects of fair treatment and disparity of outcomes for different groups in the criminal justice system. It provides guidance which sentencers are encouraged to take into account wherever applicable, to ensure that there is fairness for all involved in court proceedings.

The Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986 empowers the court to disqualify an offender from being a director or taking part in the promotion, formation or management of a company for up to five years.

An order may be made in two situations:

  1. where an offender has been convicted of an indictable offence in connection with the promotion, formation, management, liquidation or striking off of a company (Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986, s.2); or
  2. where an offender has been convicted of an offence involving a failure to file documents with, or give notice to, the registrar of companies. If the offence is triable only summarily, disqualification can be ordered only where the offender has been the subject of three default orders or convictions in the preceding five years (Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986, s.5).