The Sentencing Council for England and Wales has launched a consultation on new guidelines to be used by courts when passing sentence for corporate manslaughter and health and safety offences. This follows a review of sentences passed by the courts during recent years.
The guidelines will apply to both companies and individuals and will cover offences ranging from workplace accidents, and dangerous products that cause death or serious injury, to near misses where there was a culpable risk of injury but no injury, in fact, occurred. They also cover food safety and hygiene offences.
As we explain, if implemented, the guidelines will result in much higher fines being imposed upon large corporate entities.
The guidelines incorporate and develop the principles recently discussed by the Court of Appeal in R v Sellafield; R v Network Rail (see our e-bulletin on this case here) including an increased focus on the financial means of the offender.
To read the full version of this e-bulletin click here.
The consultation will close on 18 February 2015 following which final guidelines will be issued. A copy of the draft guidelines and information for anyone wishing to comment on them can be found at the Sentencing Council’s website.