“In order to effectively punish and deter corporate crime, the law should impose criminal sanctions on individuals rather than on corporations.”
Corporate Crime refers to crimes committed by corporations, or individuals acting on behalf of companies (Tomasic, 1993). As corporate crime also involves top managers and employees of the company, it sometimes overlaps with white-collar crime (Grabosky & Braithwaite, 1987). There is no doubt that corporate crime has taken a heavy toll on Australian society, as proven by the Treasury’s 1985 Draft White Paper, which estimated that the revenue losses arising from tax fraud by corporations amounted to $ 3 billion per year (Grabosky & Braithwaite, 1987). Also illegal price fixing in the building industry added estimated costs of $30 million during the late 1970s, not to mention the hundred of deaths and tens of thousands of serious injuries occuring in Australian workplaces each year, which may have arisen as a result of violations of occupational health laws (Grabosky & Braithwaite, 1987). The prevention and detection of corporate crime are both difficult as much of it is hidden from the public eye. However, there is considerable debate regarding the basis of imposng criminal liability on a corporation that breaks the law. The main issue is whether the law should impose criminal sanctions on individuals rather than on corporations.
Central to this discussion on criminal liability of corporations versus the liability of individuals within the corporation is the concept of corporate criminal liability. The paper will firstly introduce and discuss the concept of corporate criminal liability. This paper further attempts to discuss the different views held by scholars regarding the imposition of criminal liability on a corporation, specifically whether the corporation as an artificial person should be vicariously liable for its actions, or whether individuals within the
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