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From Manslaughter to Preventable Accident: Shaping Corporate Criminal Liability

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This article looks at the assumptions, agendas, and relations of power that shaped Bill C-45, revisions to the Criminal Code of Canada aimed at strengthening corporate criminal liability. The Bill, passed in fall 2003, originated in response to the deaths of twenty-six workers at the Westray mine in 1993, a disaster caused by unsafe and illegal working conditions. Through an examination of Parliamentary Committee hearings, this article explores how conceptions of corporate criminal liability were shaped and modified, and links this to the implications and potential of Bill C-45 to hold corporations to account. The authors argue that conservative conceptualizations of corporate liability limited the reform options that were considered by the Committee, and that the resulting legislation will do little to challenge the structural conditions that underlie culpable workplace injury and death.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada

Publication date: 2006-10-01

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