Could it be You? Corporate Manslaughter . Helen Devery BLM Manchester . Manslaughter cases. 226 deaths in 2002/03 235 deaths in 2003/04 Since 1992 253 referred to CPD 69 prosecutions 18 convictions. Disasters. Herald of Free Enterprise, 1987 Kings Cross fire, 1987 Piper Alpha, 1988
No-one accountable for loss of life in
A company can only be convicted if a company
officer can be
Of a director who is blameworthy
Between director’s area of responsibility and resultant death
‘Where a corporation, through the controlling mind of one of its agents, does an act which fulfils the prerequisites of the crime of manslaughter, it is properly indictable for the crime of manslaughter’.
R v P&O European Ferries (Dover) Ltd
‘Unless an identified individual’s conduct,
characterisable as gross criminal negligence, can be attributed to the company, the company is not, in the present state of the common law, liable for manslaughter’.
Att. Gen. Ref No 2 of 1999
Convicted because they were small
companies with an easily identifiable
‘A poisoned chalice’
‘There is great public concern at the criminal law’s lack of success in convicting companies of manslaughter where a death has occurred due to gross negligence by the organisation as a whole’.
‘The law need to be clear and effective in order to secure public confidence and must bite properly on large corporations whose failure to set or maintain standards causes death. It is not targeted at conscientious companies that take their health & safety responsibilities seriously’.
David Blunkett, 21 May 2003