Criminal Liability of Corporations: Does the Old Order Need to Change?
Shouvik Kr. Guha & Abhyudaya Agarwal*
Volume 1 Issue 2 (2008)
The evolution of the concept of criminal liability of corporations is characterized by the judiciary’s relentless struggle to overcome the problem of assigning criminal blame to fictional entities. This is particularly relevant in a legal system based on the moral accountability of individuals. This article outlines the broad range of principles governing the law related to corporate criminal liability and the essential elements required to incur such liability in a comparative perspective. A balance is sought to be achieved between the goals of criminal law and the socioeconomic inefficiency resulting from indiscriminate application of criminal liability to corporations. The article also seeks to highlight the dilemma inherent in the contemporary attitude toward the so-called ‘white collar crimes’. A rise in corporate crimes signifies an apparent failure of corporate governance that in turn necessitates more effective law enforcement. The appropriate standard has been suggested to be achievable successful enforcement of behavioral norms within the corporate framework by a combination of internal governance structures and criminal prosecution.