Opposition parties’ attempts to enact legislation creating a criminal offence of corporate manslaughter continue. In February 2012, we reported on the publication of the Corporate Manslaughter Bill 2011. The 2011 Bill is currently languishing at the first stage of the legislative process. Notwithstanding this, a new Corporate Manslaughter Bill 2013 has been introduced to Seanad Eireann.
This Bill closely mirrors the provisions contained within the 2011 Bill and creates the following serious offences:
- Corporate Manslaughter – where an undertaking (i.e. a company or body corporate) causes the death of a person by gross negligence
- Grossly Negligent Management Causing Death – ‘high managerial agents’ (i.e. a director, manager or similar officer) may be found guilty of the offence where:
- A company has been convicted of corporate manslaughter
- The high managerial agent ought reasonably to have known of the risks involved and failed to take appropriate action
The 2013 Bill is based on the Law Reform Commission Report on Corporate Killing of 2005, however, at the time of writing, there is no indication that the Government intends to support the passage of the Bill through the Oireachtas.
Contributed by Gerard James