First published in 1999, this volume is based upon a detailed empirical study of 40 cases of commercially-related deaths - the first such English study. The cases are taken from 20 towns and cities in England. Slapper critically examines the theory and practice of the legal response to such deaths. The conduct of the Health and Safety Executive, the police, coroner, lawyers and the Crown Prosecution Service are analyzed in detail. He executes his analysis in three stages: events are first scrutinized in the context of the law that governs them; the deaths and official responses are then considered in the context of the psychology of the decision-makers; and finally the dramas are looked at in a wider context of political economy. Slapper draws several disturbing conclusions. His original empirical research, based on attending coroner’s hearings and interviewing those interviewing those involved in enforcing safety laws, shows how and why potentially criminal behaviour at work is constructed as merely regulatory misbehaviour or even as no more than an unavoidable ‘accident’.
Table of Contents
1. The Theoretical Framework: Criminal Law, Manslaughter, the CPS, the Police, the HSE, and the Coronial Inquest. 2. The Development of Corporate Liability and the Scale of Corporate Risk-Taking. 3. The Legal Process (1): The Police, the CPS and the HSE. 4. The Legal Process (2): The Inquest. 5. Social Perceptions of the Dramatis Personae. 6. The Historical and Economic Context. 7. Legal, Criminological and Social Science Perspectives.
’...the first study of its kind...’ The Independent ’...an important contribution to the discussion of how society treats the problem of work-related fatalities. It places these accidents, as they are often misleadingly called, in a social and historical context.’ World Socialist Web Site ’...a timely and useful introduction to the subject...contains interesting material and analysis.’ Health and Safety Bulletin ’...greatly appeal to the student with an interest in Criminal law...a most stimulating book and shall be extremely useful...a significant contribution to the debate on recognizing the charge of corporate manslaughter.’ Health and Safety at Work ’This study offers an important contribution to the debate over what is being done and what should be done about the high level of avoidable injuries and deaths at work.’ Safety and Health Practitioner ’...a valuable addition to our knowledge of attitudes to and perceptions of companies as criminals...’ Res Publica