"Corporate Culture as Basis for Criminal Liability of Corporations" - paper for UN Special Representative Ruggie by Allens Arthur Robinson law firm
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Author: UN Special Representative on business & human rights John Ruggie
The SRSG is grateful to the Australian law firm of Allens Arthur Robinson for conducting this pro bono research on trends in the use of "corporate culture" as a basis for the criminal liability of corporations. This discussion paper provides an overview of how various legal systems deal with the issue of corporate criminal liability, examining in particular the ways in which some legal systems incorporate notions of "corporate culture" into such deliberations.
Author: prepared by Allens Arthur Robinson law firm for UN Special Representative John Ruggie
Recently, some jurisdictions have contemplated a new basis for [corporate] criminal liability – 'organisational liability' – that has the potential to address this interaction [between human actors and the corporation] more squarely. Australia, in particular, has introduced provisions holding corporations directly liable for criminal offences in circumstances where features of the organisation of a corporation, including its 'corporate culture', directed, encouraged, tolerated or led to the commission of the offence. This discussion paper:
· evaluates the 'corporate culture' concept in Australian law...;
· undertakes some comparative analysis to illustrate the strengths and weaknesses of various different approaches with regard to issues of accountability and predictability; and
· discusses the merits of applying the 'corporate culture' concept at the liability / prosecution stage, as opposed to the damages / sentencing stage.