• 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...

Introduction

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.

Middle

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.

Conclusion

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)

    It was held that the presumption of advancement prevailed. But after the father's death there was no longer a relationship between father and son so there was no payment permitted after that time. Certain important principles should be referred to before investigating the different situations that may arise concerning the presumption of advancement.

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

    For instance if man in the street threatens to kill you it would be seen as assault. But if he shouts that he is going to kill you tomorrow in the eyes of the law that is not an assault, even though any reasonable person can see that it is

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

    In the case of TANDY (1988) she murdered her daughter whilst drunk and was convicted of murder. She appealed claiming that it was not the alcohol, but her alcoholism that was the problem and this had been ignored by the courts. The COA made the following observations: - * Alcoholism is a disease * It is

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

    A trained Families Liaison Officer (FLO) should be appointed in all cases, and services offered to the bereaved through the civilian police and PS4 (A) CAS/Comp. It is imperative that any visit by a Service Police FLO is thoroughly co-ordinated, a joint civil/service police being the favoured option in the United Kingdom.

  1. The Age Of Criminal Responsibility

    website has a job to do, to report on a story or an issue of interest. In order to carry out a report the reporter must gain facts and opinions from both sides, they do this by interviewing people and asking them questions, this ensures that facts and opinions from both sides can be given.

  2. The Law Relating to Negotiable Instruments

    But a notice by a stranger is a mere nullity for a valid notice can be given only by a parson who is liable on the instrument at the time of the notice or by his agent. Notice of dishonor to the acceptor of a bill or to the maker

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

    The European Court on Human Rights (ECHR) rejected the claim that the conviction in R amounted to retrospective lawmaking in violation of Article 7 of the European Convention. This rejection was further illustrated in the case of R v Barry Crookes20 who appealed against his conviction of his then wife

  2. Law of Homicide

    The husband was found guilty of murdering his neighbour and attempting murder to his wife. He was given two life sentence for murder and attempted murder. The actus reus and mens rea was fulfilled because the husband was charged with murder which was the unlawful killing of a human and it was actus reus.

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