By William S. Laufer
We are living in an period outlined by way of company greed and malfeasance—one within which extraordinary accounting frauds and screw ups of compliance run rampant. with a view to calm investor fears, revive perceptions of legitimacy in markets, and exhibit the unravel of nation and federal regulators, a bunch of reforms, high-profile investigations, and symbolic prosecutions were performed in reaction. yet are they enough?
In this well timed paintings, William S. Laufer argues that in spite of fresh felony reforms, company felony legislations remains to be useless. As proof, Laufer considers the failure of courts and legislatures to model legal responsibility principles that relatively characteristic blame for enterprises. He analyzes the video games that companies play to deflect felony accountability. And he additionally demonstrates how the alternate of cooperation for prosecutorial leniency and amnesty belies real legislations enforcement. yet none of those elements, based on Laufer, trumps the truth that there isn't any unmarried constituency or curiosity crew that strongly and regularly advocates the significance and precedence of company felony legal responsibility. within the absence of a brand new general of company legal responsibility, the ability of regulators to maintain company abuses in money will stay insufficient.
A priceless corrective to our present weather of graft and greed, Corporate our bodies and in charge Minds will be necessary to policymakers and criminal minds alike. “[This] well timed paintings deals a dispassionate research of difficulties with regards to company crime.”—Harvard legislations Review
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Additional info for Corporate Bodies and Guilty Minds: The Failure of Corporate Criminal Liability
166 The Brown Commission recommended corporate liability for any offense committed by an agent whose action was authorized, commanded, or requested by (1) the board of directors, (2) an executive officer, (3) a person who controls the organization or is responsible for policy formation, or (4) a person otherwise considered responsible under a statute. 167 Members of the Brown Commission were hopeful that codification of liability rules would reduce uncertainty as to the extent of corporate liability for acts committed by agents.
53 Many of the trials were front-page news, with detailed coverage of dramatic courtroom testimony. 54 Rising concerns over new forms of market power, market integration, and the rapid transformation of partnerships to business corporations captured the public’s attention and raised fears of unbridled corporate concentration, corruption, and fraud. 55 This period culminated in the Progressive movement, a movement that marked a distinct shift from laissez-faire to government activism. The Progressive agenda called for an end to corruption and distinct limits on the power of trusts.
First, corporations are liable for minor, regulatory offenses where a clear legislative purpose to impose liability is present, and the agent’s actions were on behalf of the corporation and within the scope of his authority. 137 The basis of liability is vicarious, found in the doctrine of respondeat superior. Notably, the use of a due diligence or ‘‘good faith’’ defense limits the reach of this liability rule by allowing a corporation to escape conviction if it can establish that a responsible supervisory officer used due diligence to prevent the offense.
Corporate Bodies and Guilty Minds: The Failure of Corporate Criminal Liability by William S. Laufer