Royal Assent For Corporate Manslaughter And Corporate Homicide Bill

Author:Mrs Ruth Pedley
Profession:CMS Cameron McKenna LLP

Royal Assent was granted to the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Bill on 26 July 2007. Organisations will need to review their procedures and systems to ensure they do not fall foul of the new offence created by the Act once it comes into force. An organisation will be guilty of an offence if the way in which its activities are managed or organised causes a person's death, and amounts to a gross breach of a relevant duty of care owed by the organisation to the deceased.

After a long and tedious bout of "Ping Pong", with amendments bouncing back and forth between the Commons and the Lords, the Lords won an amendment to include deaths in custody. The Bill was first introduced in last year's Parliamentary Session and (having run out of time) was re-introduced at the start of this session. There is a rule that Bills must either receive Royal Assent or be dropped within 12 months of their original introduction; the deadline was reached last week, and, unusually, a one-week extension was granted to the Bill.

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