Kathleen O’Donnell

PhD Student


Working Title of PhD: The Utility of Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 in Scotland

Year commenced PhD study: 2012 (Part Time)  Institution: Glasgow Caledonian University

PhD Supervisors: Rhonda Wheate & Nick McKerrell


The aim of this research to examine and critique the way the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act is applied in practice in Scotland. In particular, by identifying and exploring the barriers to prosecution such as political, evidential and resourcing, especially compared to England and Australia, this research is expected to highlight what could be changed in Scotland in terms of government policy, prosecutorial strategy and corporate attitudes towards deaths in the workplace in Scotland. The potential impact of this research is the improvement of protection in workplaces, for employers and employees, through improvements to the utilisation of this legislation.

This research is both qualitative and empirical. It shall triangulate three sources of primary research which will explore the utility of the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 in Scotland, focussing particularly on the evidential barriers to successful prosecutions. The three sources of qualitative empirical data include; (1) the monitoring of live cases in Scotland where there is a Prima Facie case for a Corporate Homicide prosecution (2) In depth interviews solicitors who specialise in health and safety law, and (3) Interviews with relevant politicians, academics, expert groups & Trade Unions, who have campaigned and contributed to the creation of the legislation shall provide a gauge of the legislation’s success.

Keywords :

Corporate Crime, Homicide/Manslaughter, Legislation.



Glasgow Caledonian University Law Department.

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