Journal Article

<i>Societas delinquere non potest</i> ?

Thomas Weigend

in Journal of International Criminal Justice

Volume 6, issue 5, pages 927-945
Published in print November 2008 | ISSN: 1478-1387
Published online January 2009 | e-ISSN: 1478-1395 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jicj/mqn069
Societas delinquere non potest ?

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The concept of corporate criminal responsibility has long been accepted in common law jurisdictions and has more recently spread to several other national criminal law systems. Germany is one of a few hold-outs limiting criminal responsibility to natural persons, although financial sanctions can be imposed on a corporation when one of its officers has acted criminally on behalf of the corporation. Corporate criminal responsibility can be based on transferring the corporate officer's responsibility to the corporation, or alternatively, on finding fault with the legal person's internal organization. Neither approach is completely convincing in theoretical terms. More importantly, introducing full corporate criminal responsibility requires a re-definition of what constitutes a criminal act as well as the concept of criminal culpability. The author cautions against taking this step too quickly because it might well change the specific nature of criminal law.

Journal Article.  9211 words. 

Subjects: Criminal Law ; International Law

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