The Future Direction of Corporate Criminal Responsibility in Australia
On 31 August 2020, the Australian Law Reform Commission's Final Report on Corporate Criminal Responsibility was tabled in Parliament. The Final Report makes significant recommendations for reform of corporate criminal responsibility in Australia, including reforms limiting the use of the criminal law as a regulatory tool, clarifying criminal attribution methods, enhancing sentencing powers and procedures for corporate offenders, expanding the liability of directors and senior managers for corporate wrongdoing and creating new offences for failure to prevent certain transnational crimes.
The Final Report is published at a time of increased focus on corporate wrongdoing in Australia, reflected in recommendations made by the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry, as well as recent legislation to reform the law of foreign bribery and allow corporations to enter into deferred prosecution agreements.
This White Paper outlines these recent developments as well as the key recommendations of the ALRC, considering the future of corporate criminal responsibility in Australia, which will be a continued area of focus for Australian legislators and regulators in the coming years.
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