The Investigation of Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

Abstract

The Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act introduced a brand-new UK homicide offence. An organisation, such as a company, will be guilty of an offence if it causes a person’s death and this amounts to a gross breach of a relevant duty of care. The organisation’s senior management need to have also played a substantial role in the breach. Should an organisation be found guilty, the main sanction is a (potentially unlimited) fine. The offence operates in a complex investigatory and enforcement environment. There is significant overlap between corporate manslaughter and the wider health and safety regulatory regime. Only the police can investigate corporate manslaughter and only the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) can decide whether a case will proceed. Yet the police and the CPS are reliant on enforcement bodies, such as the Health and Safety Executive, to advise in relation to whether breaches of health and safety law have occurred. Many investigations do not result in a corporate manslaughter indictment. A health and safety charge may be the only charge in circumstances where there is organisational culpability but insufficient evidence to meet the high threshold for corporate manslaughter. 29 companies have been convicted of corporate manslaughter to date.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Handbook of Homicide Investigation
EditorsCheryl Allsop, Sophie Pike
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherRoutledge
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 18 Feb 2022

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