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Almond, Paul: Corporate manslaughter and regulatory reform

Crime, Law and Social Change

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As the new Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act came into force in 2007, Maria Eagle, then Justice Minister, noted that, with its passage, “We are sending out a very powerful deterrent message to those organisations which do not take their health and safety responsibilities seriously [1].” It is with this Act, and the symbolic message to which Eagle refers, that Almond’s book is concerned. Crucially, however, Almond places the emergence of the Act within the wider context of regulatory law and its enforcement—unremarked upon in Eagle’s comment but which, as Almond notes here, is characterised by rather different trajectories of enforcement, set in train by three successive Labour administrations and then accelerated under the post-2010 Coalition Government (below).

Let us first, then, place Almond’s specific concerns within some wider contexts. According to the most recent Health and Safety Executive (HSE) figures, in 2011/12 there was a total of 173 ‘workers’ killed by occ