Corporate Criminal Responsibility for International Crimes: Exploring the Possibilities

van der Wilt, Harmen
March 2013
Chinese Journal of International Law;Mar2013, Vol. 12 Issue 1, p43
Academic Journal
This article investigates whether it is possible and recommendable that corporate criminal responsibility should be introduced for international crimes and that the International Criminal Court should therefore have jurisdiction over legal entities. This article adopts the French proposal on corporate criminal liability, presented during the drafting process of the Rome Statute, as preliminary normative framework, and links this framework with case law of both domestic and international criminal courts in which individual business leaders stood trial on charges of complicity in international crimes. The recurrent question is whether it would have been fair and feasible in those situations to hold the legal entity which these corporate agents were representing criminally responsible as well. The analysis reveals that the answer to this question would undoubtedly have been affirmative. The author argues that the cases which have been investigated represent particularly strong instances of corporate involvement in international crimes. The knowledge and contributions of corporate agents which are required to incur criminal responsibility for complicity in international crimes correspond and correlate with their position of power and control within the corporation, which is necessary to implicate the legal entity.


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