Corporate Manslaughter Case Study

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Corporate Manslaughter is when a company is convicted for causing the death of someone by their actions and it was confirmed in Herald of Free Enterprise that a company can be held responsible for the acts committed. The common law test for imposing criminal responsibility on a company only arose where a person’s gross negligence actions or omission could be proved to be the cause of death. The person which it is referred are the people who manage the day to day running of the business or the ‘controlling mind’ of the corporation whose intentions and actions can be imputed to the company.
Lord McKay opinionated the test of gross negligence in common law in (Adomako):
“the ordinary principles of the law of negligence apply to ascertain whether
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However, in order to bring a conviction under the Health and Safety Work Act 1974 (HSWA 1974, hereafter) against a company, the prosecution needs to prove that they created the risk, not that the risk resulted in death. According to ss.2 and ss.3, the company has to ensure “so far as is reasonably practicable” the health and safety of its employers and employees. A court can issue unlimited fine which is set out in Crown Court Guidance. S.37 of the HSWA 1974 states an individual director can be prosecuted but cannot be sent to…show more content…
In these cases, on one was successfully prosecuted for the deaths that occurred. Thus, the Government in 2000 published a Consultation Paper in line with the findings of the Law Commission on corporate responsibility.
The draft Bill was mainly designed to overcome the problem associated with the laws that governed the corporate manslaughter at that time i.e. the need to find the controlling mind of the corporation for someone to be liable for the actions of the company. Rather, the Bill focused on whether the company took the reasonable steps taken and managed at the senior level for it to be discharged from any sort of liability arising from corporate

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