Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007: Quick Facts
The Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 came into force on 6 April 2008, and introduced a new offence for prosecuting companies and other organisations where there has been a gross failure in the management of health and safety with fatal consequences. This topic outlines types of manslaughter and some of the key areas of the Act.
- Corporate manslaughter is a type of involuntary manslaughter (killing by gross negligence).
- Before the 2007 Act, successful corporate manslaughter prosecutions were extremely rare because of the need to identify a “directing mind” of the company who was guilty.
- Unlimited fines may be imposed, and the courts may force companies to publicise their convictions through a publicity order, leading to severe damage to reputation.
- Under the legislation, individual directors will not be liable for any deaths due to a general breach of the duty of care by the firm.
- Employers should take steps to review their management structures and health and safety policies.
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