Understanding current global trends and the attitudes towards corporate criminal liability in different jurisdictions is key to managing corporate risk.
For our comparative review of corporate criminal liability we examined the position of companies across 24 jurisdictions and assessed the risks they face in each. Our review highlighted a number of key themes and issues that arise for companies no matter where they are located.
We found that:
While all the jurisdictions we surveyed have enforcement mechanisms in place by which companies may be held responsible for wrongdoing, criminal liability of companies is not uniformly recognised across jurisdictions.
It is not always necessary to convict an individual of a crime before the company can be held criminally liable.
Polices to prevent criminal wrongdoing by employees may mitigate against corporate liability, lead to a reduction in penalties for wrongdoing or even provide a full defence to unlawful activity.
Our comparative review provides answers to 12 specific questions:
Can companies be criminally liable for wrongdoing?
For what kind of wrongdoing can a company be held criminally liable?
How far does criminal liability extend?
Does criminal liability extend to foreign companies?
Is the company legally obliged to disclose criminal offences to the competent prosecution authorities?
Are the prosecution authorities legally obliged to conduct a criminal investigation into corporate wrongdoing?
What is the position of the defendant company in criminal proceedings?
Is the company legally obliged to co-operate with the prosecution authorities in the proceedings?
What kind of sanctions can be imposed on companies?
What is the relevance of an effective compliance system?
How are criminal proceedings against companies conducted in practice?
What is the likely future scope and development of corporate criminal liability?
Download the full report on the Client Knowledge Portal.