21 November 2007
Proposed Fines for Corporate Manslaughter conviction inadequate says safety charity
Fines of between 2.5 to 10 percent of the annual turnover of an organisation convicted of manslaughter are too low, say the Centre for Corporate Accountability (CCA).
Organisations convicted of killing people should face the threat of far larger fines than those organisations who are found to have been involved in breaking European competition law - which currently attracts a maximum 'administrative' fine of 10% of the annual global turnover of the organisation
The CCA was giving its initial response to the Sentencing Advisory Panel's draft guidelines on how courts should sentence organisations convicted of manslaughter.
The CCA however supports the proposal that courts should impose 'publicity orders' - which require the offending organisation to publicise its own conviction - on all organisations convicted of manslaughter. These, the Panel suggest, could 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 organisations.
David Bergman, Executive Director of the CCA said:
"These proposals need to be given significant consideration. However, in light of the seriousness of the criminal offence of corporate manslaughter, our initial response is that the proposed levels of fines are simply too low. The CCA also believes that the current provisions in the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 - principally fines and publicity orders - fail to address the need for a full range of effective corporate penalties available to the courts. The new 'publicity orders' should be seen simply as a first step towards more effective sentencing reforms."
To read more about the proposals, and to download the consultation document, click here
Centre for Corporate Accountability is a human
rights charity advising those bereaved from work-related
deaths, and working on issues of safety, law enforcement
and corporate accountability.
Centre for Corporate Accountability