Lloyd's Maritime and Commercial Law Quarterly

Corporate killing—the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007

Stephen Griffin *

In the context of the corporate entity, this paper will consider the merits and deficiencies of the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007. As a matter of corporate accountability, this new legislation is long overdue; reform of the law relating to corporate manslaughter being a subject of debate for well over a decade. In analysing the provisions of the Act, the paper will also question the legislature’s decision to provide no apportionment of liability between a culpable company and its senior management. In discussing this latter point, the paper will consider whether the prosecution of a senior manager under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 is appropriate in cases where the neglect of the manager was a substantial element in causing the unlawful death of an individual.


The Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 20071 (“CMCHA”) received Royal Assent on 26 July 2007 and was brought into force on 6 April 2008.2 CMCHA codifies the offence of corporate manslaughter for the very first time and in summary3 imposes a criminal sanction, by way of an unlimited fine, against a corporate entity and any other relevant organization4 in circumstances where a senior management failure was



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