UK government launches review process for white-collar crime through a public consultation open up to March 24

Ginevra Campalani
Lawyer, specialized in compliance and antibribery

Iole Anna Savini
Lawyer, specialized in compliance and antibribery

Studio Carnà
Milan – Rome – London
Barcelona – Lugano

On the 13th of January, the British Ministry of Justice has published the “Corporate Liability for Economic Crime” draft, which has started a global review process for improving the corporate liability laws in relation to white-collar crime.

The government has launched a call for evidence, which has been open up to the 24th of March 2017, to evaluate the reform options. Reform in this area has been on and off the political agenda for quite some time and had recently been triggered by the growing criticism of the common law basis for abscriving criminal liability to corporates in the UK. 

The need of this review arises from the fact that, except for corruption offences regulated by the Bribery Act (2010) , corporate liability for other types of economic crime falls under common law.  The UK has not developed any US-style concept of vicarious corporate liability. Instead, under the English “identification” theory, corporates can only be liable for serious offences if their “directing mind and will” (i.e. the senior management) actively participated in the criminal activity. 

The distinction, far from being merely theoretical, ma ...