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Regulation Crisis: Evaluating the Potential Legitimizing Effects of “Corporate Manslaughter” Cases

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This article identifies a new direction for discussion of the proposed “corporate manslaughter” offense. Considering work-related fatality cases with reference to the concept of legitimacy allows us to obtain a fuller understanding of their importance and the potential benefits associated with reform of the law. Work-related fatality cases have inherent power as “signal offenses.” A failure to resolve these cases in a manner that satisfies the interests of the “publics” that the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) faces, may lead to a crisis of legitimacy for the agency. Reforming the law so as to facilitate such a response may offer important legitimatory benefits to regulators.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: University of Reading, UK

Publication date: July 1, 2007


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