Fianna Fáil Senator, Mark Daly has led a debate on the 26th of October a debate in the Seanad on the Corporate Manslaughter Bill which he introduced and saw the passing of the Bill to Committee Stage.
The Corporate Manslaughter Bill addresses the gap in Irish law where there is an absence of clear legislation to hold corporate entities and state agencies criminally liable for unlawful deaths that occurred as a result of their actions or negligence.
At present, there is no clear legal recourse following such a death and this bill will ensure that this gap is filled with robust, clear-cut legislation.
“I am confident that this bill will help balance the law in favour of workers, customers and the public, in general.”
“The ultimate outcome of this legislation will be to cause a shift in outlook and approach among senior management within corporations in Ireland. Now that they can be held liable, as an entity or individually, I am hopeful that this bill will cause cultural changes and ensure a deterrent effect to reduce deaths,” concluded Daly.
The purpose of this Bill is-
– to provide for the offence of corporate manslaughter,
– to provide for the offense of grossly negligent management causing death
– to provide for related matters to these offenses
Provision is also made for orders that may be sought by the court in result of a conviction of the above offences.
The intention of the bill is to reform the law on corporate manslaughter to ensure that undertakings or persons can held accountable when deaths of workers are caused by neglect of workplace health and safety whether it is through established bad practice or management.
The bill is based on the Law Reform Commission Report on Corporate Killing of October 2005 and the UK Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007. The Law Reform Commission in its report recognised that current legislation was deficient and recommended that a new offence of corporate manslaughter be created. The necessity for this is further illustrated by the fact that so many workers continue to be killed and injured in the workplace.