Corporate responsibility for industrial incidents
Corporate responsibility for industrial incidents

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Corporate responsibility for industrial incidents

4.1 Comparative examples of legislating to prevent corporate killings

The UK model of legislating for corporate homicide is rooted in, and reflects, comparative experiences in other legal jurisdictions (Slapper, 2011). We will now look at those other legislative models, given that the 2007 Act has selectively taken from these.

Countries do differ in their approach to regulating and prosecuting corporations for health and safety contraventions. The main difference between jurisdictions, in terms of their approach towards regulation of corporate responsibility for deaths, is whether the focus is primarily on individual liability or corporate liability. Some countries do not recognise corporate criminal liability. Others impose only administrative penalties for criminal acts of corporations.

Activity 5

You now need to choose, from the list provided below, one country as your focus. Alternatively, if you are studying this course from a country other than the UK you may decide that it would be a good idea to research the country that you are studying from.

Using the skills as a legal researcher, search for how the particular country that you have chosen has tackled the issue. The date provided by the country’s name denotes when that country enacted legislation specifically dealing with corporate killing.

In particular, see if you can find what politicians, journalists and other commentators in your chosen jurisdiction have said about the need for reform of the law regulating deaths in the corporate context. Then compare your findings with what you have learnt about the UK’s approach to corporate manslaughter.

France, 2006 Romania, 2006
Finland, 1995 Austria, 2006
South Africa, 1995 Italy, 2001
Australia (some states), 1995 Netherlands, 1991


Your comments will vary greatly depending on the country that you have chosen. From your research you should be able to determine whether a similar approach has been taken in the country of your choice to that in the UK. So for instance research on Australia should have found details of the Australian Commonwealth Criminal Code 1995 and the Bracks Bill 2001. Portugal, Spain, Norway, Finland and Denmark all have incorporated criminal punishments for corporations in new/revised penal codes.


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