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Cover Criminal Law

13. The Criminal Liability of Corporations  

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.

Chapter

Cover Smith, Hogan, & Ormerod's Text, Cases, & Materials on Criminal Law

25. Liability of corporations  

This chapter discusses the ways in which organizations and their members might be held liable in criminal law. It covers personal liability of individuals within an organization; vicarious liability; corporate liability: by breaching a statutory duty imposed on the organization, by committing strict liability offences, by being liable for the acts of individuals under the identification doctrine, and the specific statutory liability of organizations for homicide under the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007; and liability of unincorporated associations.

Chapter

Cover Criminal Law

7. Parties to crime  

Michael J. Allen and Ian Edwards

Course-focused and contextual, Criminal Law provides a succinct overview of the key areas on the law curriculum balanced with thought-provoking contextual discussion. This chapter discusses the meaning of accomplices, vicarious liability, joint enterprise liability, and corporate liability. All the parties to a crime are accomplices. The person who perpetrates the crime is the principal. Others, not being principals, who participate in the commission of an offence are referred to as accessories or secondary parties and will be liable to conviction if it is proved that they aided, abetted, counselled, or procured the commission of the crime by the principal. Vicarious liability is a form of strict liability arising from the employer–employee relationship, without reference to any fault of the employer. A corporation is a legal person and therefore may be criminally liable, even though it has no physical existence and cannot act or think except through its directors or employees.

Chapter

Cover Smith, Hogan, and Ormerod's Criminal Law

8. Corporate and vicarious liability  

David Ormerod and Karl Laird

This chapter focuses on the potential criminal liability of organizations, particularly corporations. Corporations have a separate legal identity and are treated in law as having a legal personality distinct from the people who make up the corporation. Therefore, in theory at least, criminal liability may be imposed on the corporation separately from any liability imposed on the individual members. There are currently six ways in which a corporation or its directors may be prosecuted: personal liability of corporate directors, etc; strict liability offences; statutory offences imposing duties on corporations; vicarious liability; the identification doctrine; and statutory liability of corporate officers. The chapter also discusses the limits of corporate liability, the distinction between vicarious liability and personal duty, the application of vicarious liability, the delegation principle and the ‘attributed act’ principle. The chapter examines the failure to prevent offences found in the Bribery Act 2010 and the Criminal Finances Act 2017.

Chapter

Cover Ashworth's Principles of Criminal Law

6. Criminal Capacity, Mens Rea, and Fault  

This chapter deals first with another fundamental requirement of a crime: criminal capacity. It is a precondition of criminal liability that the defendant is a person with sufficient capacity to be held responsible. This leads to an examination of infancy and insanity as barriers to criminal responsibility, and then to a consideration of special factors affecting corporate criminal liability. Second, this chapter considers fault requirements as an element of criminal offences. It explores some of the reasons for and against the criminal law requiring proof of fault in any form. It also considers principal varieties of fault requirement in the criminal law, such as intention and recklessness.

Chapter

Cover Ashworth's Principles of Criminal Law

3. Criminal Law Values  

The focus in this chapter is on the values the criminal law seeks to protect through criminalization. First, key ‘intrinsic values’ are considered, such as bodily integrity and sexual autonomy. Second, an analysis of ‘public goods’ is provided. Public goods are goods in which we have no individual right or share, but which benefit us in common with others. The criminal law protects public goods as part of its role in supporting our many different lives in common, as consumers, employees, users of roads and of public transport, and so on. The security of the state, openness and integrity in corporate governance and public life, and the common pool resource of a welfare system are all very different examples of public goods in this sense.