n Comparative and International Law Journal of Southern Africa - Corporate homicide : what can South Africa learn from recent developments in English law?

Volume 42, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0010-4051



Dealing effectively with corporations that cause deaths unlawfully is one of the challenges facing South Africa. Although corporate criminal liability forms part of our law, the current legal position does not cater adequately or specifically for corporate killers. In this article I shall discuss the regulation of corporate criminal liability through a comparative study of South African and the United Kingdom law. South African criminal law has been greatly influenced by English law, and English law has well-developed rules to regulate corporate homicide. Moreover, recent developments in corporate criminal liability in the United Kingdom may assist South Africa to reform its laws in such a way that corporate homicide is not only effectively dealt with, but that corporations are discouraged from acting in a manner that results in the loss of life. This discussion will include the basis of liability, the of a corporation, the adequacy of criminal sanctions imposed on those who perpetrate corporate homicide, and problems encountered when implementing corporate criminal liability. I shall conclude with a discussion of specific developments in English law from which South Africa may learn.

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