Corporate Criminal Liability in Scotland: The Problems with a Piecemeal Approach

  • Findlay StarkEmail author
Part of the Ius Gentium: Comparative Perspectives on Law and Justice book series (IUSGENT, volume 9)


This chapter analyzes Scotland’s approach to corporate criminal liability. Through a patchwork of statute and case law, Scots law has struggled to define clearly the conditions under which a corporation – and/or its employees – may be held liable for crime. The chapter first critiques this approach to attribution, before moving on to consider four other issues: the offenses for which a corporation can be held liable in Scotland; the types of corporation which are capable of having criminal liability attributed to them; the range of sentences available to a court once a corporation has been convicted; and procedural concerns, such as the special evidential rules created in order to make the trial of a corporation possible. All of these matters remain, in certain aspects, unclear in Scots law and the paper concludes by making some tentative proposals for reform.


Sexual Offence Criminal Liability Corporate Entity Corporate Liability Vicarious Liability 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



I am grateful to James Chalmers, Senior Lecturer in Law at the University of Edinburgh School of Law, for his valuable input to an earlier draft. I am also indebted to Radha Ivory and Shona Wilson for their helpful comments upon and criticisms of previous versions.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Edinburgh School of LawEdinburghUK

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