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Sentencing for Corporate Manslaughter under the new Act
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Corporate Manslaughter and
Homicide Act 2007

On 15 November 2007, the Sentencing Advisory Panel has published a consultation document on sentencing for the new offence of corporate manslaughter. It proposes that:

"When sentencing for an offence of corporate manslaughter, the starting point should be:

  • the imposition of a publicity order; and
  • a fine of 5 per cent of the offender’s average annual turnover;
  • within a fine range of 2.5 - 10 per cent of average annual turnover."

To read CCA's response to this consultation, click here, or to download it click here

The sentencing panel proposes that, in relation to the actual level of fine, the court should take into account the following aggravating factors:

  • more than one person killed as a result of the offence;
  • serious injury caused to one of more others, in addition to the death(s);
  • serious injury caused to one or more others, in addition to the death(s);
  • failure to act upon advice, cautions or warning from regulatory authorities;
  • failure to heed relevant concerns of employees or others;
  • offender carrying out operations without an appropriate licence;
  • action or lack of action prompted by financial or other inappropriate motives;
  • corporate culture encouraging or producing tolerance of breach of duty.

And the following mitigating factors should be taken into account:

  • breach due to employee acting outside authority or failing in duties;
  • ready cooperation with authorities;
  • good previous safety record.

In relation to the publicity order, the Panel states that options for the form of the order include:

  • publication on television/radio and/or in a local/ national/ trade newspaper, including relevant broadcaster/newspaper websites;
  • publication on the organisation’s website and in its annual report, informing (potential) customers and those who might be interested in investing in the organisation;
  • notice to shareholders; and
  • letters to customers and/or suppliers of the organisation:
It goes onto state:

"if the offender is a local organisation, it might normally be appropriate to require publication in the local media; in the case of a large national organisation, publication in national media would be more effective. In both cases, a notice in all relevant trade journals should be required. Any shareholders should be notified in order that they may press for enhanced health and safety standards and publication should always be required in an annual report."

To download the full consultation document, click here

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Page last updated on March 18, 2008