The law of social security fraud: Due process protection or prosecutorial overreach?

Date & time
1–2pm Tuesday 23 July 2013
Staff Library, ANU College of Law, Building 5, Fellows Rd, The Australian National University
Gráinne McKeever, University of Ulster


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In the UK, social security fraud has become an increasingly prominent offence, driven and fed by changes to social security legislation, policy imperatives and departmental targets. Social security claimants are under increasing suspicion of being fraudsters, and this climate of suspicion is also evidenced in the US, Canada and Australia where ‘welfare’ and ‘fraud’ are often conflated concepts. Law has a critical role to play in protecting due process rights: ensuring suspected fraudsters are aware of the allegations against them, avoiding an inequality of arms between the accused and the accuser, providing clear lines of delineation between intentional fraud and accidental error, ensuring that standards of proof are appropriate, and punishing proportionately.

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