Corporate Crime - Individuals vs. Corporations

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Corporate Crime (BTF2223):
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Research Report Assignment
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Proposition: “In order to effectively punish and deter corporate crime, the law should impose criminal sanctions on individuals rather than on corporations.” -------------------------------------------------

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Table of Contents
Cover page ….……………………………………………………………………1 Table of contents…………………………………………………………………2 Preliminaries………………………………………………………………………3 Sanctions, punishment and deterrence ………… …………………………………4 Corporations and corporate crime ………………………………………………5 Imprisonment as the supreme criminal sanction ………………………………… 5-6 Procedural deficiencies in taking action against a corporation …………………. 6-7 Stifling the role of a director and business prosperity ………………………… 7-8 Determining precisely which party or parties are at fault …………………………8-9 Protecting innocent bystanders from the wrongdoing of others …………………10 The need for reform in criminal sanctions …………………………………….…11-13 Conclusion ……………….……………….……………….……………….…….14 Bibliography ……………….……………….……………….……………….… 15-18

Preliminaries
Corporate criminal liability is imposed in almost every area of corporate activity, including, consumer protection, workplace safety, environmental protection, securities regulation and taxation. For this reason it is vital that it is regulated as close to maximum efficiency as possible. Deciding whether or not criminal sanctions should be imposed on the corporation itself, the individuals or both should not merely be confined to a yes or no question. The law is far too sophisticated and subjective in nature for such a simplistic view to be taken. This research report holds the view that adopting such a narrow mindset would lead to insufficient levels of punishment and deterrence and rather a miscarriage of justice occurring for corporate crime. What essentially is being argued is that engaging legal action under personal or corporate criminal liability should not be viewed as mutually exclusive events. The decision of whether to pursue either corporation or the individual should revolve around a multitude of factors. These factors at hand need to be balanced and feature the area of the law applicable to the case, the unique facts and circumstances surrounding the case and ‘prosecution policy’. The prosecution policy is responsible for judging the likelihood of receiving a criminal conviction in addition to what is in the best interests of society as a collective unit. Furthermore, it is not necessarily just a choice of individuals, corporations or both, but also the criminal sanctions that act as an instrument to punish and deter corporate crime.

Sanctions, punishment and deterrence
Sanctions are defined as a penalty imposed for violating accepted social norms; in addition criminal sanctions are either a fine, imprisonment or both. The reasons behind the existence of sanctions are underpinned by five fundamental legal pillars known as...
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