In May, the Council of Europe published this publication which is said to have 2 purposes –
- to provide policy-makers and practitioners with an overview of the concept of corporate liability and enforcement approaches taken by different jurisdictions; and
- to inform future efforts on codification and revision of rules on liability of legal entities in member and non-member states by providing model legal provisions and accompanying explanatory notes.
The publication refers to relevant international standards inviting states to introduce similar mechanisms into their respective systems. It is also said that this publication can also be used as a training manual, as well as a resource on standards and comparative practices. The suggested model legal provisions could be used as a baseline by jurisdictions which are yet to introduce rules in this area. It says that the liability of legal entities is steadily gaining equal footing to that of individual liability, and this does not come as a surprise, bearing in mind the roles played by many multinational companies in bribing foreign officials or laundering the proceeds of crime.
The document examines the concepts of (potential) liability of corporate bodies – and how both common law and civil law jurisdictions have approached this. It also considers the various penalties and sanctions that can be applied. It includes use of illustrative case studies and examines the various international treaties and agreement which are relevant.
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