The Ministry of Justice has published a call for evidence on corporate liability for economic crime. There has been much criticism for some time of the difficulties enforcement agencies have when trying to prosecute corporates for offences such as money laundering. One particular problem has been in proving the “directing mind and will” of businesses, which was addressed by the Bribery Act’s introduction of the “failure to prevent” offence. The call for evidence seeks views on whether this is a good model to pursue, whether to introduce a type of vicarious liability offence so companies are guilty through the actions of their staff, without any further need to prove complicity, and what the benefits would be of strengthening regulatory regimes. The government is keen to build on the measures already being introduced in the Criminal Finances Bill. The call for evidence closes on 24 March.
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