Extract from an article on corporate manslaughter act 2007
"The Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 came into force in April 2008. Previously it had been notoriously difficult to convict large companies of the common law offence of gross negligence manslaughter (which, until the Act, had been commonly referred to as "corporate manslaughter"), although there had been a number of convictions of small companies.
The Act removes the necessity under the old law to identify and establish the guilt of a "directing mind", a senior individual who could be said to embody the company in his actions and decisions. In a large or medium-sized organisation, such an individual is often far removed from the events surrounding the death, making establishing his guilt for gross negligence manslaughter unlikely.
Instead, the Act concentrates on the way in which the organisation's activities are managed or organised, commonly referred to as a "management failure", and whether that caused the death and was a gross breach of a relevant duty of care. Further, the way in which its activities were managed or organised by its senior management must be a substantial element of that breach. In addition, unlike the previous common law offence, significantly the Act allows the aggregation of failings by a number of senior management." Guy Bastable, Partner at BCL Burton Copeland
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