All Bark and No Bite: A Socio-Legal Study of Corporate Criminal Liability in Criminal Law
Marar, Alexander N.
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Given the overwhelming financial and human costs of crime committed through the incorporated entity, this thesis explores corporate criminal liability in criminal law as a mechanism of social control for corporate crime. First, this thesis traces the fundamental claims regarding corporate criminal liability in both the jurisprudential and sociological literatures in an effort to explore how law applies liability in a criminal context to the incorporated entity. Second, the contemporary corporate criminal liability landscape in Canada is examined. In particular, an examination of Bill C-45 as codified corporate criminal liability and as criminal law in action is empirically grounded in a detailed review of both the black letter law of corporate criminal liability and the judicial case documents on prosecutions against incorporated entities for corporate crimes. Finally, this thesis analyzes the socio-legal environment of corporate criminal liability through its construction and operation within Canadian criminal law. Overall, as a result of the legal, cultural, political, and economic privileges of the incorporated entity, corporate criminal liability is a product of a socio-legal environment that inhibits the ability of criminal law to be an effective mechanism of social control for corporate crime. Only when corporate criminal liability recognizes the complexities of the social, economic, and organizational structures and practices that are shaping corporate criminal activities can it become an effective mechanism for regulating the most harmful corporate misconduct. Otherwise, as this thesis demonstrates, corporate criminal liability will continue to be all bark and no bite.