Corporate Crime Assignment Essay

2788 Words May 23rd, 2013 12 Pages
Corporate Crime Assignment
“In order to effectively punish and deter corporate crime, the law should impose criminal sanctions on individuals rather than on corporations.”
Introduction
Corporate Crime refers to crimes committed by corporations, or individuals acting on behalf of companies (Tomasic, 1993). As corporate crime also involves top managers and employees of the company, it sometimes overlaps with white-collar crime (Grabosky & Braithwaite, 1987). There is no doubt that corporate crime has taken a heavy toll on Australian society, as proven by the Treasury’s 1985 Draft White Paper, which estimated that the revenue losses arising from tax fraud by corporations amounted to $ 3 billion per year (Grabosky & Braithwaite
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Accordingly, corporations are made up of groups of people and are thus fictitious persons only under the law. In determining whether the law should punish corporations, scholars like John Hasnas argue that moral responsibility is a necessary factor in imposing sanctions on corporations (Hasnas, 2009). Therefore, it must be proven that corporate entities are capable of being morally responsible for their actions, even though they are run by individuals. Some scholars like French emphasise that a corporation’s internal management structure by which policy is determined influences the company’s output, thus arguing that these internal structures allow the corporation to act intentionally (French, 1979). Based on this argument, corporations are capable of bearing’ moral responsiblities’. However, critics of corporate liability such as Valasquez are quick to dismiss French’s argument by emphasising that moral responsiblities cannot be completely attributed to corporations (Valasquez, 2003). As such, a single director or manager as in the case of smaller corporations might solely influence the corporation’s internal decision-making structure. Valasquez further argues that moral responsibility can never be attributed to corporations due to the fact that corporations are not responsible for the actions of their employees, corporations cannot act intentionally and corporations are not…