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Corporate and white-collar crime in IrelandA new architecture of regulatory enforcement$
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Joe McGrath

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780719090660

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719090660.001.0001

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The new architecture of enforcement

The new architecture of enforcement

Chapter:
(p.123) 6 The new architecture of enforcement
Source:
Corporate and white-collar crime in Ireland
Author(s):

Joe McGrath

Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7228/manchester/9780719090660.003.0008

The sixth chapter of this thesis shows how new sentiments regarding corporate wrongdoing translated into institutional changes and changes in the content and scope of company law. It is shown that the State has created specialist agencies with skilled professional personnel to police corporate enforcement. These agencies have significant powers to detect, investigate and prosecute corporate crime. Furthermore, accountants and other professionals are obliged to report to regulators if they suspect that criminal offences have been committed, facilitating a targeted, evidence-based approach to enforcement. Regulatory crime stratagems, like strict liability, have been employed and due process rights which were thought to overly privilege the guilty and have been eroded. In some contexts, criminal procedure has been sidestepped entirely through the use of administrative and civil sanctions. These sanctions are depersonalised and more concerned with containment and risk management than blaming and finding fault. The legal system has shifted focus from individual protection and legal rights to protecting society from the systemic risk posed by corporate wrongdoing. In the new legal architecture, law is a means-ended instrument where corporate enforcement and compliance are prioritized over other values in our legal system. It will be shown that this has led to a contradictory legal system: one which is more concerned with accountability but less concerned with blaming with certainty.

Keywords:   Regulatory agencies, Strict liability, Reverse onus provisions, Systemic risk

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