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 Post subject: Corporate Manslaugher & Corporate Homicide Act
PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 11:32 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 09, 2007 11:43 pm
Posts: 63
Location: Sheffield, England
I thought that readers would be interested to hear of a new piece of law that has gone on the statute book this year in the United Kingdom.

The Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act introduces a new offense, across the UK, for prosecuting companies and other organizations where there has been a gross failing, throughout the organization, in the management of health and safety with fatal consequences. The penalties for those convicted under the new legislation are extremely severe. The fines have no upper limit and there is also a publicity order which means that the company will have to publicise the details of the conviction. The former damages the company balance sheet but the latter damages the company brand which in many cases is PRICELESS.

The new offense came into force on 6 April 2008 and compliments the existing law where individuals can be prosecuted for gross negligence manslaughter/culpable homicide and for health and safety offenses. The Act does not change this and prosecutions against individuals will continue to be taken where there is sufficient evidence and it is in the public interest to do so. However, the problem has been that before a company could be convicted of manslaughter, a ├óÔéČ┼ôdirecting mind├óÔéČ of the organization (that is, a senior individual who could be said to embody the company in his actions and decisions) also had to be guilty of the offense. The new law means that Prosecutions will be brought against the organization itself and not specific individuals which greatly increases the chances of a successful prosecution.

The new offense applies to all companies and other corporate bodies operating in the UK, whether incorporated in the UK or abroad so will apply to the many US owned companies over here.

If you want to know more I have an excellent article by a senior lawyer, Paul Verico, on my web site. Link as follows.

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