Corporate killing law to punish companies, not directors

Proposals
for a new offence of corporate manslaughter will target companies rather than individual
directors, the Government has announced.

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Secretary David Blunkett gave details of a draft bill on corporate killing on
Tuesday. A timetable for the legislation and further details will be announced in
the autumn.

Relatives
of rail crash victims have been pressing the government to fulfil its 1997
commitment to introduce a corporate manslaughter offence.

Mr
Blunkett said: "There is great public concern at the criminal law’s lack
of success in convicting companies of manslaughter where a death has occurred
due to gross negligence by the organisation as a whole.

"The
law needs to be clear and effective in order to secure public confidence and
must bite properly on large corporations whose failure to set or maintain
standards causes a death.”

By Ben Willmott

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