When corporations carry on their business in a grossly negligent manner, or take a cavalier approach to risk management, the consequences can be catastrophic. The harm may be financial, as occurred when such well-regarded companies as Enron, Lehman Brothers, Worldcom and Barings collapsed, or it may be environmental, as illustrated most recently by the Gulf oil spill. Sometimes deaths and serious injuries on a mass scale occur, as in the Bhopal gas disaster, the Chernobyl nuclear explosion, the Paris crash of the Concorde, the capsize of the Herald of Free Enterprise, and rail crashes at Southall, Paddington and Hatfield in England.What role can the law play in preventing such debacles and in punishing the corporate offenders? This collection of thematic papers and European country reports addresses these questions at both a theoretical and empirical level. The thematic papers analyse corporate criminal liability from a range of academic disciplines, including law, sociology/criminology, economics, philosophy and environmental studies, whilst the country reports look at the laws of corporate crime throughout Europe, highlighting both common features and irreconcilable differences between the various jurisdictions.
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