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Corporate liability for economic crime - Law Society response to call for evidence

30 March 2017

The Ministry of Justice's call for evidence was concerned with criminal offences designed to punish and prevent economic crimes.

It looked at whether the 'identification doctrine' is an effective tool for enforcing criminal law against large modern companies, and at the options for reform of the law if reform is needed,

The Law Society believes a case has not been made for amending the 'identification doctrine', nor for introducing new corporate criminal offences.

We agree with the Law Commission’s conclusion in its 2010 consultation paper Criminal Liability in Regulatory Contexts that 'there is no pressing need for statutory reform or replacement of the identification doctrine'.

The UK already has in place strong criminal and regulatory regimes which support its international reputation as an attractive place with which to do business. It is not clear to us how any of the options presented in the call for evidence would add to the UK’s standing, or outweigh the costs of compliance and the potential duplication of existing regulatory regimes and other parts of the criminal law framework.

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