Corporate Criminal Liability and Sanctions

Consistent with the Green Party’s core objectives of environmental sustainability and social inclusivity we propose An Inclusive and Sustainability Companies Act that encompasses many of the areas where legislative change is required.

The Green Party aims to create a socially just society in which citizens can obtain redress for damage caused by other individuals. The implementation of our policies will ensure that civil and criminal offences committed by corporate bodies can be successfully prosecuted (where appropriate) and similarly that the individuals who manage and control those bodies can also be sanctioned and penalised for these actions.

What we want to achieve with this policy:

  • Hold to account both companies and any person who carries out their activities, when business is conducted in a reckless, negligent or fraudulent manner.
  • Reform the law to enable the Courts to apportion culpability between those who are involved in wrongdoing by better reflecting how business activity is organised. This would implement a key recommendation made in 2018 by the Law Reform Commission in their Report on Regulatory Powers and Corporate Offences.
  • Empower the Courts to impose truly deterrent penalties on the largest corporate litigants.
  • Create a multidisciplinary Corporate Crime Agency to investigate and help prosecute corporate offences.
  • Implement specific administrative changes that will ensure better co-ordination of existing Regulatory Bodies that police corporate activities.
Key Policy points

Adoption of the “Attribution Model” of corporate liability that the Law Reform Commission recommended in its 2018 Report on Regulatory Powers and Corporate Offences, to better identify and attach liability to the corporate body and the person(s) within it who authorised or enabled any unlawful act undertaken.

Establishment of a multidisciplinary Corporate Crime Agency with the power to investigate and assist in the investigation of corporate offences. [Note that this was the intention of The Companies (Corporate Enforcement Authority) Bill]

Establishment of a common structure of regulatory powers for the relevant authorities that would define their investigative and administrative powers and clarify their role in conducting summary criminal prosecutions.

Amendment of the current classes set out in the Fines Act 2010 so that judges can impose financial penalties as a graduated proportion of turnover for corporate entities instead of the absolute amount limits that are in the current legislation.

Policy revised: December 2020

UN Sustainable Development Goals: 8, 9, 10, 16

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