Corporate Criminal Liability - Discussion Paper, March 2002


  • [1] For a useful overview of issues, see Corporate Criminal Liability -- A Discussion Paper by Professor Anne-Marie Boisvert, Faculty of Law University of Montreal, 1999, at

  • [2] The Rhone v. The Peter A.B. Widener [1993] 1 S.C.R. 497, at 526.

  • [3] "It may well be inevitable that guilt of the directing mind is a condition precedent to corporate guilt, but this has yet to be stated judicially". (at p. 686)

  • [4] A similar proposal had been put forward by a minority of the Law Reform Commissioners in Report #31. The Sub-committee concluded that this approach allowed a "maximum of flexibility" and was "probably more consistent with decision-making processes within corporations, particularly large ones". First Principles: Recodifying the General Part of the Criminal Code of Canada, February, 1993.

  • [5] Min. of Employment and Immigration v. Bhatnager [1990] 2 S.C.R. 217.

  • [6] The proposals on corporate liability form part of a larger review of manslaughter.

  • [7] Including the Review of Commonwealth Criminal Law (Gibbs Committee) in 1987, study by the Standing Committee of Attorneys General, and the Model Criminal Code Officers Committee proposals in 1992.

  • [8] The Model Criminal Code Officers Committee stated that it was trying to "develop a scheme of corporate criminal responsibility which as nearly as possible, adapted personal criminal responsibility to fit the modern corporation". The new Act states: "This Code applies to bodies corporate in the same way as it applies to individuals", and "A body corporate may be found guilty of any offence….".

  • [9] These quotations are from the draft Law Commission statute, presumably close to the Government's ultimate bill.

  • [10] Updated in 1998.

  • [11] Other factors include assistance provided to authorities, risk of bodily death or injury from the company's conduct, threats to national security and threats to the environment, inter alia.

  • [12] ACCA Compliance Manual Prevention of Corporate Liability, The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc.

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