8 December: Dr Nicholas Lord (School of Law, University of Manchester)
Title: 21st Century Corporate ‘Justice’: Criminalising the Failure to Prevent Crime
Abstract: This talk analyses an approach to corporate justice concerned with criminalising failures to prevent serious crimes within and by UK corporations. I argue that this ‘vicarious’ turn away from the pursuit of ‘substantive’ guilt is emerging as the default 21st Century response to global, corporate elites implicated in serious financial crimes. Historically, nation states have faced notable legal, evidential, structural, procedural and financial obstacles underpinned by problems of absent state knowledge and power when seeking to hold corporate criminals to account. In this context, the emergence of organisational fault characterises both ideological and normative, and practical and pragmatic, preferences for responding to ‘big business’. To evidence this I analyse recent developments in relation to corporate bribery in international business where legislation creates an offence of commercial enterprises failing to prevent bribery within the organisational structure. The shift to criminalising organisational fault has symbolic importance but practical inadequacy, raising concerns over the redefinition and communication of what ‘justice’ looks like in cases of corporate deviance.
Room: B04, 43 Gordon Square