Corporate Manslaughter - Campbell Fitzpatrick Solicitors

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					Corporate Manslaughter

     Patrick Mullarkey
Campbell Fitzpatrick Solicitors
          Purpose of the talk
• Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate
  Homicide Act 2007 - 6th April 2008
• Government’s Motivation
• Progress of Legislation
• Statutory Provision ( What it actually says)
• Penalties
• Questions
• More people killed at work than in warfare
• 40K UK(GB&NI) deaths between 1966-
• Average of 400 deaths per annum
• Only 34 prosecutions, 7 convictions for
  previous offence
• That’s 0.000175% of a success rate
• Series of high profile disasters stirred
  Government action
• Zeebrugge, Bradford City, Hillsborough,
  Kings Cross, Marchioness
• Difficulties in securing conviction related to
  legal test
• Need a “guilty” or “controlling” mind
• “Controlling mind” test inadequate to deal
  with large corporate body
• Directors/Management remote
• Labour manifesto commitment
• Law Commission report in 1996,
  consultation 2000, draft Bill 2005
• Bill received Royal Assent 27th July 2007
                 The Law
• The Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate
  Homicide Act 2007
• Section 1 of the Act sets out the details of
  the offence
• Various elements to the offence; gross,
  breach of duty, activities
  managed/organised, senior management
• Consider those separately
      Scope of the Legislation
• Act applies to Companies, Public Bodies
  and even Partnerships
• Public Bodies encompass NHS
• No Crown Immunity
• Exemptions, total and partial, provided but
  unlikely to assist managers
    When will Conviction occur?
• Reserved for the most serious cases
• Management systems scrutinised for breach
• Senior management identified by Act
• Judges likely to apply inclusive definition
• Delegation no defence, indeed could
  aggravate the offence
• Management activities must be at fault
            Breach of Duty
• Common law concept
• Duty of Care owed as employer, occupier,
  provider of services
• eg safe place of work , safe plant and
  equipment, reasonable medical care etc
• Failure to comply leads to breach.
• Not simple negligence
• Fall so far below what could reasonably be
• Minor errors not enough
• Conduct that demonstrates disregard for life
  and safety as to deserve criminal sanction
       Penalties and Sanctions
• Unlimited fine
• Remedial Order - Prosecution can ask for
  same to remedy a dangerous practice
• Publicity Order - Not yet in place, guidance
  and guidelines being settled. Expected in
  Autumn 2008

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