Policy paper

Corporate manslaughter: the Government's draft bill for reform

This publication was published under the 2001 to 2005 Labour government

This document contains the following information: Corporate manslaughter: the Government's draft bill for reform.

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Corporate Manslaughter - The Government's Draft Bill for Reform - Full Text(PDF)

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This document contains the following information:This document sets out the Government’s proposals to reform the current law on corporate manslaughter, published for pre-legislative scrutiny and consultation with industry, trade unions and the public.

The draft Bill seeks to strike a balance between securing company accountability for health and safety incidents involving gross management negligence, whilst avoiding burdensome regulation which might stifle entrepreneurial activity.

It proposes a new, specific offence of corporate manslaughter for situations where a gross failing by senior management to take reasonable care for the safety of employees or the public causes a person’s death, and would apply to all companies and other types of incorporated body (including many in the public sector such as local authorities), as well as, for the first time, government departments and other Crown bodies.

The new offence seeks to move away from the current need to link a company’s guilt with the gross negligence of an individual who is taken to embody the organisation, to a more effective means of prosecuting organisational negligence resulting in death which reflects the gravity and consequences of the conduct involved.

This Command Paper was laid before Parliament by a Government Minister by Command of Her Majesty. Command Papers are considered by the Government to be of interest to Parliament but are not required to be presented by legislation.