A Glaring Omission - Corporate Liability for Negligent Manslaughter

Monash University Faculty of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2007/41

Australian Journal of Labour Law, Vol. 20, p. 29, 2007

25 Pages Posted: 18 May 2009

See all articles by Jonathan Clough

Jonathan Clough

Monash University - Faculty of Law

Date Written: May 12, 2009

Abstract

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

Clough, Jonathan, A Glaring Omission - Corporate Liability for Negligent Manslaughter (May 12, 2009). Monash University Faculty of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2007/41; Australian Journal of Labour Law, Vol. 20, p. 29, 2007. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1403666

Jonathan Clough (Contact Author)

Monash University - Faculty of Law ( email )

Wellington Road
Clayton, Victoria 3800
Australia

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