Your chance to shape Law Reform
The Government is examining the case for reform of the law on corporate liability for economic crime, and has commenced an open call for evidence. The call for evidence is concerned with financial crime such as fraud, false accounting and money laundering when committed by or on behalf of companies. The consultation period ends on 24 March 2017. Fieldfisher will be responding to the Ministry of Justice and would like your help in shaping our reply.
Prosecutors face challenges when trying to prove criminality against companies. Problems commonly arise because of the identification principle which requires finding someone of sufficient seniority within large, global corporations who can act as, or be described as, the directing mind of the company. This is especially difficult in cases where offending may have been committed in a different country to where the company is headquartered or where the Board is located.
Options for law reform include the introduction of strict liability offences making the company guilty for actions of others and removing the need for proof of any fault element. The proposed reforms also mirror the model adapted for bribery, and contained in the Criminal Finances Bill for tax evasion. If the 'failure to prevent' model is adopted this will be a further example of the continued erosion of the need for there to have been knowledge of an offence being committed before a company can be held criminally liable.
To take part, please complete this survey, which will only take a few minutes of your time. For your answers to be included in our response to the consultation please ensure the completed survey is returned to us by Monday, 20 March 2017.
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