By Dr Jennifer Collins, Lecturer in Law (University of Bristol Law School).
The Court of Appeal has delivered an important judgment in R v Valujevs  3 WLR 109, on the scope of fraud by abuse of position under section 4 of the Fraud Act 2006 (on which see J. Collins, ‘Fraud by Abuse of Position and Unlicensed Gangmasters’ (2016) 79 Modern Law Review 354). The importance of ensuring legal certainty in drafting a general fraud offence was emphasized when the Fraud Bill was debated in the House of Commons a decade ago (Hansard, HC 12 June 2006, col 549). Dominic Grieve MP’s concerns that fraud by abuse of position was ‘too widely drafted’, and would lead to ‘a catch-all provision that will be a nightmare of judicial interpretation’ (Standing Committee B, 20 June 2006, col 25) remain relevant to what has resulted in sections 1 and 4 of the Fraud Act 2006. Does R v Valujevs shed new light on the principled operation of the offence? And is the Court of Appeal’s interpretation in line with concerns at the Committee stage to safeguard vulnerable categories of persons (Standing Committee B, 20 June 2006, col 26)? (more…)