Criminal Liability: Salmmon Vs. Salomon, & Co.

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A corporation is not a natural person and only acts through its officers; if what the officers did is criminal in nature, then only the corporation is liable to be prosecuted. Corporations, as legal persons, gain many benefits similar to natural persons but they continue to be able to hide behind complex corporate structures to evade the liability of natural persons under the criminal law. Corporations continue to cause severe injury to individuals, groups and the natural environment through their actions. Their ability to abuse power and evade criminal liability reveals their current privileged position in comparison to individuals.
Corporate criminal liability started with non-feasance offences and
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This is despite the fact that the locus classicus decision in Salomon v. Salomon & Co., which says that a corporation upon incorporation assumes a legal personality and status in law separate from that of its members, can be regarded as the foundation of corporate criminal liability generally. This is because it is when the corporation is treated as a person in law, that it becomes a recipient of rights and bearer of duties. The capacity to sue and be sued therefore is one of the effects of incorporation. None of these corporations has been sued for their negligence and recklessness which resulted in the death of…show more content…
Most definitions of crime emphasize that one crucial and distinguishing characteristics of crime is that it may be followed by punishment. Therefore, no person including a corporation may be held criminally liable, unless the act complained of is defined as an offence, and the punishment is stated.
Crimes can be divided into two categories and the essential elements of an actus reus depend on which of these two species of crime one is dealing with. First, there are crimes known as conduct crimes where the external elements required are the prohibited conduct itself. Thus the actus reus of the offence of reckless driving is simply driving a motor vehicle on the road’ no harm, no consequence of that reckless driving need be established. The second species of crime is known as result crime where the external element of the offence requires proof that the conduct caused a prohibited result or consequence.

Crime can be defined as an illegal act or activity that can be punished by law. But if the definition of any particular crime is examined carefully, it will be seen that it always consists of two sorts of elements-physical and
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