Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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No soul to damn? Revisiting the case for corporate manslaughter in New Zealand

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posted on 2021-11-15, 07:51 authored by Spence, Mitchell

Currently a corporation cannot be convicted of manslaughter in New Zealand. Increasingly, this distinction demarcated between individuals and corporations seems out of touch, particularly in light of legislation passed in cognate jurisdictions and the ascendance of a plethora of industrial disasters both in New Zealand and abroad.  Taking as its focus the Report of the Independent Taskforce on Workplace Health and Safety (2013), this paper contemplates the above issues, concluding that the offence’s alignment with fundamental criminal law principles makes a strong case for its introduction in New Zealand. Consideration is also given to the format and rules of attribution that should accompany a resolve to prosecute corporate manslaughter, finding that a more comprehensive discussion, going beyond the recommendations of the Taskforce, is necessary before any legislation is settled on.


Copyright Date


Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Rights License

Author Retains Copyright

Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Name

LL.B. (Honours)

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code

970118 Expanding Knowledge in Law and Legal Studies

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Research Paper or Project



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Law


Smith, Tony