Attribution of responsibility

Celia Wells

in Corporations and Criminal Responsibility

Second edition

Published in print May 2001 | ISBN: 9780198267935
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191683411 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Monographs on Criminal Law and Justice

Attribution of responsibility

Show Summary Details


This chapter examines at a broad level the social construction of corporate harms. The psychological explanations of blame attribution are also addressed. In addition, the interaction between social construction, blame attribution, and legal causation is shown. It concludes with an assessment of the roles played by formal state institutions such as inquests and public inquiries in forging and responding to public awareness and fears of technological risk. The Herald of Free Enterprise disaster in 1987 and the Southall rail crash in 1997 are explained. Then, some of the formal manifestations of the blaming process are presented. There has been an extraordinary increase in the attention given to corporate responsibility, both in the media and in scholarly literature, in the past few years.

Keywords: corporate responsibility; blame attribution; corporate harms; social construction; legal causation; public awareness

Chapter.  11807 words. 

Subjects: Public International Law

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.