Corporate Liability in the UK and Singapore:
Should Prosecution be Directed at the Corporation or Humans?
by Natalie Alfred
Liability is very easily established by the courts because it is usually clear what the crime is and who has committed it. However, in the case of corporations it is not always so straight forward. Though separate legal personality allows a corporation to be party to a dispute, criminal or civil, instances of humans taking part in criminal activity for a corporation make it difficult to justify the prosecution of the corporation rather than the individual. This is highly dependent on the type of criminal conduct that has taken place. Comparing UK and Singapore Law, this article will identify the distinction between corporate crimes and other criminal activity. This is essential in determining the mechanisms available to the courts in deciding how a corporation can be prosecuted. Different types of crimes that a corporation may be liable for are also explored within this context, highlighting the problems that arise when a corporation rather than an individual is prosecuted. Furthermore, it mentions the role corporate culture plays in establishing when it is in fact best to prosecute a corporation for a crime with case examples from both jurisdictions. Finally, it briefly outlines the criminal context in which an individual should be prosecuted.