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Criminal LawText, Cases, and Materials

Criminal Law: Text, Cases, and Materials (10th edn)

Jonathan Herring
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date: 24 June 2024

p. 74313. The Criminal Liability of Corporationslocked

p. 74313. The Criminal Liability of Corporationslocked

  • Jonathan HerringJonathan HerringProfessor of Law, Exeter College, Oxford


This chapter begins with a discussion of the law on corporate criminality, covering the difficulty in convicting companies of crimes; corporate killing; and vicarious liability. The Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 created a new offence of corporate manslaughter. This can be committed where the way in which a company’s activities are managed or organized amounts to a gross negligence and causes someone’s death. In a limited number of crimes, a company can be guilty in respect of the acts of one of its employees under the doctrine of vicarious liability. The second part of the chapter focuses on theoretical issues in corporate liability, covering the reality of corporate crime; the clamour for corporate liability; whether a company should be guilty of a crime; and what form corporate crime should take.

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