ALRC Final Report: Corporate Criminal Responsibility

By Christopher Kerrigan, James Campbell, Cindy McNair

Strengthening and clarifying Commonwealth law

The Australian Law Reform Commission's Final Report on Corporate Criminal Responsibility (Report) was made public on Monday, 31 August 2020 after being tabled by Parliament. This Report caps off a year-long review by the ALRC into the Commonwealth corporate criminal regime and how that regime might be improved to more effectively address criminal conduct by companies when it arises.

The Report includes recommendations aimed at:

  • reducing the overproliferation, incoherence and lack of principle in corporate criminal offences at the federal level;
  • introducing a single method for attributing criminal liability to corporations across all Commonwealth legislation;
  • creating a new 'system of conduct' offence, which would criminalise repeated contraventions of prescribed civil regulatory provisions; and
  • enhancing the range of penalties and sentencing options for courts with respect to corporate criminal offences, beyond traditional monetary penalties.

Together, the reforms if implemented would offer a clearer, consistent and more rational framework for addressing corporate criminal conduct in Australia.

Watch our experts discuss the findings

In this video, Chris Kerrigan, James Campbell and Cindy McNair examine some of the Report's key proposals and their likely impact for companies. We've produced an insight with further details on the recommendations to Australia's corporate criminal responsibility regime