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Normative SubjectsSelf and Collectivity in Morality and Law$
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Meir Dan-Cohen

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199985203

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199985203.001.0001

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Sanctioning Corporations

Sanctioning Corporations

(p.197) 9 Sanctioning Corporations
Normative Subjects

Meir Dan-Cohen

Oxford University Press

The perennial question of whether corporations should be held criminally liable is split into two questions: should sanctions be imposed on corporations? and should such sanctions be subject to the same substantive, procedural, and evidentiary constraints as those that apply in the case of individual defendants? The positive answer to the first question follows from a conception of corporations as unified actors that can be effectively controlled by setbacks to their “global” interests and goals. But the severe restrictions that ordinarily apply to the imposition of sanctions on individuals are deontological side constraints, imposed in the service of the dignity of the accused. Since dignity does not extend to corporations, they are not protected by these constraints. Nor, it is argued, do the indirect effects of corporate sanctions on the corporation’s individual stakeholders call for such constraints, since these effects do not amount to an infringement of the individuals’ rights or to an affront to their dignity.

Keywords:   corporate criminal liability, sanctions, constraints, individual rights, dignity

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