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Corporate criminal liability and the identification doctrine - A critical reflection

Bourton, Sam; Hall, Demelza; Johnson, Diana; Ryder, Nic

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Abstract

The identification doctrine frustrates the prosecution of companies for economic crimes in the United Kingdom (UK). This is because, while the identification and attribution of criminal intent may be straightforward in cases concerning small companies, prosecutors are often unable to perform this task when dealing with large, complex organisations. This chapter provides examples of corporate perpetration or facilitation of economic crimes, which have gone unpunished owing to the identification doctrine. This chapter demonstrates that the “failure to prevent” bribery and the “facilitation of” tax evasion offences have provided a more effective method to attribute responsibility to companies for their involvement in these financial crimes. However, this chapter also highlights the weaknesses in the operation of “failure to prevent” offences, including the lack of awareness on the part of businesses potentially affected and lacklustre enforcement efforts. Ultimately, the chapter highlights the value in taking criminal, as opposed to merely civil, action against offending companies, while also acknowledging the importance of retaining a comprehensive suite of civil penalties to tackle less egregious forms of corporate misconduct.

Citation

Bourton, S., Hall, D., Johnson, D., & Ryder, N. (2023). Corporate criminal liability and the identification doctrine - A critical reflection. In Criminal Liability of Collective Entities: Dogmatic and Political-Criminal Profiles over Twenty Years after Legislative Decree 231/2001 (405-432). Italy: University of Bergamo

Acceptance Date Feb 1, 2023
Publication Date 2023
Deposit Date Mar 15, 2023
Publicly Available Date Jul 1, 2024
Pages 405-432
Book Title Criminal Liability of Collective Entities: Dogmatic and Political-Criminal Profiles over Twenty Years after Legislative Decree 231/2001
Public URL https://uwe-repository.worktribe.com/output/10441419

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