Leader magazineASCL - Association of School and College Leaders

Corporate manslaughter

The Corporate Manslaughter Bill has been introduced to deal with situations like the Hearld of Free enterprise disaster where the disaster is a result of the negligence or recklessness of the company but the law cannot pin the blame on one person - which is the only way to convict for manslaughter at present.

The new bill will establish that in a case where there has been 'consent, connivance or negligence or serious personal fault' in the organisation, there will be the possibility of an unlimited fine on the organisation. This would not, of course preclude a civil claim for damages directed either at the organisation, or the individual, or both.

A school or college might find itself in difficulties if it had recklessly or negligently ignored fire safety in order to avoid expense and a pupil was killed as a result. It is highly unlikely that any ASCL member taking normal sensible precautions would come anywhere near danger under this enactment.

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