• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Explain why so few criminal prosecutions for corporate manslaughter succeed, what proposals for reform have been made and what criticisms these reforms have themselves been subjected to.

Extracts from this document...


Explain why so few criminal prosecutions for corporate manslaughter succeed, what proposals for reform have been made and what criticisms these reforms have themselves been subjected to. Criminal offences are not only committed by individuals but are also committed by companies. This raises the obvious problem of how do you define the state of mind of the company. Over the last 40 years 22,000 people have been killed at work or business related disasters but they have only been three successful prosecutions for corporate manslaughter. In Kite v OLL Ltd the criminal case against the company collapsed because the prosecution had been unable to satisfy the doctrine of identification. The identification doctrine prevents large corporations from being held responsible for manslaughter. Number of interesting issues arises from this. First, what is doctrine of identification? Second, why should this doctrine act as a barrier to conviction and thirdly is an issue relation to causation - was conduct of corporation a cause of death. The identification doctrine originated from the civil case Lennords Carrying Company Ltd v Asiatic Petroleum Ltd where it was held that act by corporation supreme authority constituted an act of corporation itself. ...read more.


Where serious offences such as manslaughter are concerned, bringing a prosecution against a company may allow the individuals responsible to go free as they may only suffer the prosecution of their company and the fine rather then being prosecuted personally and possibly imprisoned. All these criticisms have attracted people arguing that the law needs reform. Government is currently thinking about introducing reform on corporate manslaughter. The proposed reforms have been presented by the Home Office in a consultation document reforming the law of Involuntary Manslaughter: the government's proposal. The proposals on the current law relating to corporate homicide are to replace the existing law with two new offences and they are corporate killing and substantially contributing to corporate killing. The government have proposed to create new offence of corporate killing because of the problem of doctrine of identification. The offence of corporate killing would be based on management failure and liability will only be imposed where the management failure is part of or the main cause of a person death and the failure constitutes conduct falling below what can be reasonably expected of the corporation in circumstances. It would not require the risk to be obvious or that "d" is capable of appreciating the risk. ...read more.


However one problem with this is that large organisation will be likely to advertise in newspaper which they consumers are less likely to read. Another alternative is punishing the company so that all the profit they make during that certain period should be sent to the state. The other alternative is to impose community service order which would be done at there own expense. Law could increase the number of health and safety inspectors. Mr Lissack has argued that there has been a change in the law on corporate manslaughter following the judgement of Adomako, where it was argued that all that needs to be looked at is companies conduct and whether the company's behaviour was so bad as to label the conduct as criminal. It has also been suggested that offences that companies are likely to incur should be taken out of criminal law and placed in civil law so that they can be sued for damages rather then being fined. Therefore from all the criticisms of corporate manslaughter it is pretty clear that the law is in need of reform. It's not fair that a company is not punished for their act because the doctrine of identification cannot be proved. Committing a death of a person is murder and just because a business has committed it, it doesn't mean that it shouldn't be punished for. Zeenat Fazlanie 038366 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Law section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Law essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Law - Resulting trusts

    4 star(s)

    Another way of rebutting the presumption is to prove that the gift was to be intended. In Fowkes v Pascoe20 it was held that in this case the evidence of the son and his wife was admissible, and could not be disregarded as rebutting the presumption of a resulting trust;

  2. Is Nuclear Power the Answer for the Future?

    This still, however, leaves the threat of the 'Dirty Bomb' (i.e. a conventional explosive device surrounded by radioactive waste material) and a bomb of this type could cause massive destruction to countries killing up to millions and with the lingering danger of radiation causing cancers and mutating human genes within the remaining population.

  1. Criminal Law (Offences against the person) - revision notes

    he was provoked but it wasn't put to them so therefore he is guilty of murder COA said judge was correct in the direction as Cocker hadn't had a loss of self control The characteristics of a reasonable person This was one of the main reasons for the introduction of the statutory defence.

  2. What are the criticisms of the current law on Voluntary manslaughter?

    Their criticism of the law on the reasonable man was that a person who had some eccentricity shouldn't be compared with somebody who doesn't possess the same quality, which in theory is the reasonable man. The Privy Council disagreed and said that the law had gone too far and in

  1. Offences against the person act 1861; criticisms and reforms.

    This could lead to injustice as he may decide more strict meaning than is widely accepted as a definition. With the more serious offences the words are often antiquated and in some cases misleading for example "assault" and "maliciously". This is because it is an old piece of legislation, and

  2. Critically evaluate the changes which have been made since 1990 to the definition of ...

    husband being immune against prosecution for rape of his wife in conformity not only with a civilised concept of marriage but above all, with the fundamental objectives of the Convention, the very essence of which is respect for human dignity and human freedom.'21 It seems that convictions of husbands for the rape of their wives have become increasingly successful.

  1. The Age Of Criminal Responsibility

    Once this information has been gathered, the writer can then set out on typing his report. This information is then very valuable to a researcher who gets details from all different sources. In my case, I get to read about the comments made by Dr Atkinson and also those of

  2. Explain the need for discipline in at least two public services. Analyse the role ...

    Preserving the Queens Peace: This is an old concept that while the lords and people of the country remained loyal to the country the King or Queen would provide the nation with peace, security and stability. Consequently the police are to maintain the peace.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work