The principles that should govern how criminal liability is attributed to corporate bodies and other non-natural persons should include:
A. Fairness and equality before the law – all corporate bodies should be held to account equally before the law regardless of size or corporate structure.
B. Prevention – the law should encourage the introduction of robust compliance and monitoring regimes in order to prevent criminality.
C. Deterrence – the ability of the state to stigmatise certain egregious behaviour through the criminal law is important to provide a genuine and credible
deterrence and to provide recognition of the serious harm that corporate behaviour can cause society.
D. Certainty and clarity – so that the rules are applied and interpreted consistently by prosecutors, courts and corporates themselves.
E. Reality – current modes of decision-making and responsibility within modern corporate structures are reflected in the law.
F. Extra-territoriality – to capture the global nature of much corporate activity and avoids a competitive disadvantage for UK-based companies.
G. Equivalence – ensuring the UK does not fall behind international standards.