The History and Evolution of Corporate Criminality
Harvard Law School
This article traces the evolution of corporate wrongdoing in the United States, focusing on the late Nineteenth and early Twentieth Centuries. A study of courts' and scholars' approach to the problem of promoting economic interests while ensuring that corporate power was not abused is instructive in analyzing current proposals to regulate or punish public corporations. Historically, courts faced doctrinal and practical issues in addressing corporate wrongdoers: in addition to the doctrinal difficulties attached to punishing what is essentially a legal fiction, the needs and wishes of American society (which alternately embraces and attacks corporations) pushed courts to approach the problem in creative ways.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 29
Keywords: Legal History, Criminal Law, Corporations
JEL Classification: K10, K14, K42
Date posted: April 9, 2007