Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide
An organisation is guilty of the offence if the way in which its activities are managed or organised causes a person’s death and amounts to a gross breach of a relevant duty of care (see below regarding a relevant duty of care) owed to the deceased.
A ‘gross breach’ is one that falls far below what could reasonably be expected in the circumstances.
A substantial element of the breach must have been in the way in which the organisation’s activities were managed or organised by its senior management.
The common law offence of gross negligence manslaughter as it applies to corporations is abolished by the Act and it expressly prevents individuals from being found guilty of aiding the offence in any way. However, see below and note that a charge of Gross Negligence Manslaughter can still be applied to any relevant individual.
Cotswold Geotechnical Holdings Ltd became the first company to be charged with Corporate Manslaughter.
The company was also charged under s.2 of the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974 (HSWA).
A Director of the company was charged under s.37 of the HSWA.
The same Director was also charged with Gross Negligence Manslaughter.
Whilst cause is not defined in the Act, the Draft Bill indicated that the ordinary rules of causation would apply. This means that the management failure…..
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