Recognizing Personhood

in Corporate Bodies and Guilty Minds

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print August 2006 | ISBN: 9780226470405
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226470429 | DOI:
Recognizing Personhood

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This chapter reviews the place of corporate personhood in the criminal law. The rhetoric of personhood and its evils are discussed. The challenges of making personhood relevant are also considered, first, in terms of existing regulatory law and practice and, second, as a foundation of substantive criminal law. There is a wide range of reactions to the ascription of human characteristics to corporate entities, from a vocal minority who attribute the evils of globalization to corporate personhood to a majority who do not know what to make of it; reject it as anthropomorphic, irrelevant; think it inefficient; or are simply ambivalent. Reactions turn on the meaning and consequences of accepting or rejecting attributions of personhood. Most people seem to agree that if the law receives it as a fiction, legislatures and courts must wrestle with just how relevant it is and how it should be recognized.

Keywords: corporate personhood; criminal law; regulatory law; globalization; business enterprise; legislatures; courts

Chapter.  9806 words. 

Subjects: Company and Commercial Law

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