A Glaring Omission - Corporate Liability for Negligent Manslaughter
Australian Journal of Labour Law, Vol. 20, p. 29, 2007
25 Pages Posted: 18 May 2009
Date Written: May 12, 2009
In recent decades there have been increasing calls for corporate manslaughter prosecutions as part of the overall regulation of workplace safety. Despite a number of prosecutions, particularly in the United Kingdom, none has been successful against medium to large corporations. The principal reason for this is the so-called 'identification doctrine', which requires the identification of acts by a senior officer as those of the corporation itself. While some jurisdictions have pursued legislative reform, the ACT is the only Australian jurisdiction to have enacted a specific offence of 'industrial manslaughter'. Continued reliance on the common law as it is currently applied means that the threat of a successful manslaughter prosecution against larger corporations is remote. In this article it is argued that negligent manslaughter by omission may provide an effective alternative basis for corporate liability for homicide, which would both avoid problems of identification and reflect organisational fault.
Keywords: Corporate Manslaughter, Negligence, Negligent Manslaughter, Corporate Liability
JEL Classification: K00, K14, K20, K42, K49
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation