Sentencing for corporate manslaughter
Sentencing for corporate manslaughter

The following Corporate Crime guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Sentencing for corporate manslaughter
  • 1: Determining the offence category
  • 2: Starting point and category range
  • 3: Proportionality
  • 4: Other factors that may warrant adjustment
  • 5: Any factors which may indicate a reduction
  • 6: Reduction for guilty pleas
  • 7: Compensation and ancillary orders
  • 8: Totality principle
  • 9: Reasons

The Sentencing Council has published an offence-specific sentencing guideline for corporate manslaughter which, pursuant to section 125 of the Coroners and Justice Act 2009 (CJA 2009), courts must follow when sentencing corporate defendants for offences of corporate manslaughter unless it would be contrary to the interests of justice to do so. These sentencing guidelines do not extend to Scotland or Northern Ireland although the sentencing courts in these jurisdictions may have reference to them to assist them in their sentencing role. See Practice Note: Sentencing health and safety cases in Scotland.

The Sentencing Council previously published these guidelines within the Health and Safety Offences, Corporate Manslaughter and Food Safety and Hygiene Offences Definitive Guideline but has now published them online (and not in PDF or paper format) separately as individual offence-specific guidelines for the magistrates’ courts and Crown Courts. The corporate manslaughter offence-specific guidelines supersede and replace the Health and Safety Offences, Corporate Manslaughter and Food Safety and Hygiene Offences Definitive Guideline PDF which has been archived.

The SC also publishes a number of overarching guidelines, which should be considered in respect of all sentencing exercises, see Practice Note: Sentencing. Among these, the General guideline—overarching principles (the General guideline) is specifically designed to be used in conjunction with offence-specific guidelines and covers seriousness as well as providing expanded explanations for aggravating and mitigating