Companies are not able to ‘think’ per se, and the courts avoided this problem by searching for a particular company member who directs the company’s ‘mind and will’. This approach was adopted in relation to all offences that were not based on vicarious liability.
However, it has been recognised that the identification doctrine loses force when considered in the context of large companies, within which decisions are typically made by several different individuals rather than a single member. The attribution of blame in such cases is problematic because they are rooted in ambiguous hierarchies, meaning that a single individual cannot easily be identified.
Several attempts have been made to impose liability on companies for criminal conduct, although there is disagreement as to whether they have proven to be effective in preventing and punishing such conduct.
It is therefore necessary to outline and critically explore how the law in the UK approaches corporate crime, and whether improvements may be made in the quest to hold companies accountable, particularly from the perspective of whether collective or individual liability is the most effective. History dictates that the conviction of companies for corporate crime does not fit in well with traditional principles of criminal law. It is therefore important to examine why this is the case, and how it may be remedied.
As companies are growing to have an increasingly prominent impact on society, the need to hold them accountable when they commit crime has moved to the forefront of concerns, both nationally and internationally.
Corporate crime has presented company and criminal law with the need to ensure that companies do not escape liability when they engage in criminal conduct. This has posed major problems, however, because criminal liability is traditionally based on individualistic principles and components. When such components are applied to collective entities, particular problems emerge.’  71 MLR 3 Hansmann, H & R Kraakman, ‘The End of History for Corporate Law’  89 GLJ 439 Harris, P., (Kluer-Nihjoff 1994) Khanna, VS., ‘Corporate Criminal Liability: What Purpose does it Serve? ’  109 HLR 7 Lederman, E., ‘Models for Imposing Corporate Criminal Liability: From Adaptation and Imitation toward Aggregation and the Search for Self-Identity’  4 BCLR 1 Leigh, LH., edn, Hart 2010) Slapper, G., ‘Corporate Homicide and Legal Chaos’  1 Slye, RC., ‘Corporations, Veils, and International Criminal Liability’  33 BJIL 955 Sullivan, GR., ‘The Attribution of Culpability to Limited Companies’  12 CLJ 515 Wells, C., Law Teacher. Sample Undergraduate 2:1 Law Dissertation Proposal. Getting Started Writing both your dissertation proposal and your dissertation will utilise the skills you have developed throughout your course.Many of these, such as Research, Critical Thinking and Referencing, have been covered elsewhere in the [email protected] Always check the specific requirements of your School or department.The current law, and cases pertaining to it, will be critically explored, in order to determine how criminal liability is imposed, and the components underlining it.The law will then be critically analysed, drawing upon various viewpoints set forth in existing literature and textbooks. Sample Undergraduate 2:1 Law Dissertation Proposal [Internet]. [Accessed 6 September 2019]; Available from: https:// Assuming that an individual could be located, it would then need to be proven that he/she harboured the requisite components of gross negligence manslaughter – death following a gross breach of duty, which posed a significant risk.Members of larger companies do not typically implement the decisions that they have made, rendering it notoriously difficult to impose liability. An alternative approach is offered by tort law, which seeks to eliminate the problems that plague the identification doctrine.Under the aggregation doctrine, the criminal components of may be attributed to a company, meaning that it may be held liable for a crime as a collective entity.This approach was traditionally applied by the courts, yet it was eventually repealed. This meant that the identification doctrine became the most commonly used approach towards corporate liability, particularly for gross negligence manslaughter.