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June 4, 2012

Personal Liability for Corporate Fault Reform Bill 2012: tranche 2

Treasury has released the second tranche exposure draft of the Personal Liability for Corporate Fault Reform Bill 2012.

This draft Bill follows on from the 27 January 2012 release of an exposure draft for the first tranche of proposed amendments.

The reforms are intended to remove a significant number of provisions which apply personal criminal liability for corporate fault from Commonwealth legislation.

The scope of the project is restricted to a consideration of existing criminal liability provisions, which render a corporate officer liable without the need for the prosecution to demonstrate fault by the officer.

A number of provisions were identified which imposed personal liability, but which were justified for retention on strong policy grounds. In particular, offences that aim to prevent significant public harm (such as harm to public health) or where liability of the corporation is unlikely to sufficiently promote compliance (for example, where there is a real risk that offences by corporations cannot be effectively prosecuted due to corporate insolvency) were thought to have sufficient policy justification for personal liability to be retained.

It is proposed that a consolidated Bill comprising amendments to Commonwealth legislation proposed in the two exposure draft tranches will be introduced by the end of 2012.

The second tranche covers amendments to:

  • Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Act 1995
  • Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006
  • Health Insurance Act 1973
  • National Measurement Act 1960
  • National Vocational Education and Training Regulator Act 2011
  • Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986
  • Therapeutic Goods Act 1989.

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Posted 4th June 2012 by David Jacobson in Compliance, Corporate Governance, Corporations Act