Australian Law Reform Commission final report on corporate criminal responsibility

Posted on October 8, 2020

The Australian Law Reform Commission has published the Final Report from its Review of Corporate Criminal Responsibility. The report makes wide-ranging recommendations for a significant recalibration of corporate criminal laws.

Some significant recommendations include:

  • Reserving criminal punishment for the most serious misconduct.
  • Creating a single mechanism for holding companies criminally liable for misconduct by employees and other associates.
  • A current Bill before Parliament contains a new offence where companies ‘fail to prevent’ foreign bribery. This model of criminal offence should be expanded to cover a wider range of activities of Australian companies overseas.
  • A new criminal offence for companies that have systems of conduct or patterns of behaviour that result in many contraventions of civil penalty provisions.
  • More specific guidance on the factors that courts will consider in imposing penalties on corporations.
  • An expansion of the range of non-monetary penalties that can be imposed on corporations, in barring companies from certain activities, mandatory remediation and redress.
  • Development of a national regime to debar companies found guilty of certain offences from public sector contracts.

Read full report here: