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Journal article

Criminalising institutional failures to prevent, identify or react to child sexual abuse

01 Sep 2017
CREATORS
This article argues that the current Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse provides ample evidence of why organisations can and should be criminalised for systemic failures.

Description

Although there is increasing academic recognition of corporations as criminogenic, the criminal legal system has demonstrated difficulties in conceptualising corporate culpability. The current Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse provides ample evidence of why organisations can and should be criminalised for systemic failures. I demonstrate that the emphasis upon individualistic subjective culpability by the criminal legal system does not adequately encapsulate the institutional failings detailed before the Royal Commission. Whilst mandatory reporting offences are important, these offences do not adequately respond to the kinds of organisational failings identified by the Royal Commission. I argue in favour of developing a new institutional offence constructed upon realist concepts of negligence and/or corporate culture that recognises that organisations are capable of wrongdoing and sufficiently blameworthy to justify the imposition of criminal sanctions. I conclude by arguing that the expressive role of criminal law justifies and requires the criminalisation of this kind of organisational wrongdoing.

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PUBLICATION DETAILS

Resource Type: 
Identifiers: 
DOI
10.5204/ijcjsd.v6i3.421
ISSN
2202-8005
APO URI: http://apo.org.au/node/109146
Volume: 
6
Issue: 
3
Pagination: 
104-122
License Type: 
CC BY
Peer Reviewed: 
Yes