6.3 Corporate Liability

On 3 November 2020, the Law Commission reported that it has been asked by the Government to ‘investigate the laws around corporate criminal liability and provide options to reform them’. In particular, the Law Commission has been asked to produce an ‘Options Paper’, outlining the options available for reforming the law on liability of corporate entities. The Terms of Reference are identified as being (inter alia):

(1)     whether the ‘identification doctrine’ is fit for purpose, when applied to organisations of differing sizes and scales of operation;

(2)     the relationship between criminal and civil law on corporate liability;

(3)     other ways in which criminal liability can be imposed on non-natural persons in the current criminal law of England and Wales; 

According to the news release, the Law Commission intends to publish the Options Paper in late 2021, and will thereafter consider work on a full Law Commission project on Corporate Criminal Liability. The author looks forward to the options to be presented.

The news release can be found here, including the Terms of Reference.

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