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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Subjecting the corporation to criminal sanctions : a review of the issues Brockman, Joan

Abstract

This thesis reviews some of the issues concerning the criminal liability and sanctioning of corporations and individuals involved in corporate crime. Prohibitions against conspiracies to lessen competition and illegal mergers under the Combines Investigation Act are used for illustrative purposes. The nature of these offences and the goals which they are designed to achieve, from an economic and political point of view, are discussed. The limitations of the criminal law and the criminal justice system, as presented by the Law Reform Commission of Canada and Professor Packer, are used to evaluate the appropriateness of the criminal law and the criminal justice system for enforcing prohibitions against conspiracies to lessen competition and illegal mergers. It is concluded that the system is appropriate for enforcing the laws against conspiracies to lessen competition and inappropriate for regulating mergers. The corporate entity is the most common vehicle through which conspiracies to lessen competition takes place. The nature of the corporation, how it makes and implements decisions, and its relationship to individuals within the corporate structure are examined in order to shed some light on how corporate behavior can be controlled. The present methods used to attach criminal liability to corporations and an alternative method, structural liability, are discussed. The liability of individuals involved in corporate crime through aiding or acquiescing, is also considered. There is a discussion of some of the rules peculiar to corporations. The goals which judges hope to achieve in sentencing corporations for illegal conspiracies and the appropriate criminal sanctions to be used to achieve compliance from corporations and individuals involved in corporate crime are considered. A number of recommendations are made with regard to improving the control of corporate behavior through the criminal justice system.

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