Corporate Manslaughter Offences – Restoring Dignity or Adding Insult to Injury?

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In June 2017 seventy two people lost their lives when a fire broke out at a high rise block of flats called Grenfell Tower in London in the United Kingdom (UK). In the days following the tragedy, the economically marginalised local community mobilised to advance their claims to fair legal treatment, demanding that the organisations in charge of the flats be charged with corporate manslaughter. It has been argued that family members might feel justice has been better served if a specific charge of corporate manslaughter is brought against the corporation that caused their loved one’s death, rather than just a health and safety prosecution (Griffin, 2007). Yet provisions like the UK’s corporate manslaughter offence, and similar provisions in other jurisdictions, are fraught with technical complexity (Ormerod and Taylor, 2008) and are rarely successfully employed. There is a risk that failed prosecutions could serve to only exacerbate feelings of powerless and economic and social isolation. This paper will explore the theoretical justification for jurisdictions to have corporate manslaughter offences, and whether such offences can play any meaningful role in restoring dignity to family members or communities affected by such deaths.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2019
EventLaw and Society Association Annual Conference: Dignity - Hyatt Regency Washington, Washington, DC, United States
Duration: 30 May 20192 Jun 2019


ConferenceLaw and Society Association Annual Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityWashington, DC
Internet address


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