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Persoana juridică - subiect al infracţiunii de omor
Murder commited by a legal entity

Author(s): Alexandru Rîşniţă
Subject(s): Law, Constitution, Jurisprudence
Published by: Universul Juridic
Keywords: legal entity; corporate criminal liability; societas delinquere non potest; life; death; murder; social value; euthanasia; conjoined twins; sect; terrorism; organized crime; defective products; management errors.

Summary/Abstract: The current article tackles a delicate issue that is usually kept aloof from criminal doctrine and jurisprudence, namely the possibility of a legal entity to commit murder. The essay starts by exploring some historical aspects regarding the point in question, alongside presenting a series of cases that the author considers to be actual murders committed by different legal entities. The first part of the article deals with corporate criminal liability as a whole. The writer attempts to dismantle the “societas delinquere non potest” principle in order to prove that it is, in fact, obsolete. Throughout this stage, the paper treats every possible aspect of corporate criminal liability, alongside pointing out which types of legal entities can be held criminally liable, what sort of crimes they can commit and which terms and conditions need to be satisfied in order for genuine corporate criminal liability to occur. Both during and subsequent to this examination, the writer doesn’t miss the opportunity to provide a short glimpse of some analogous European legal provisions, doctrinal views and case-law regarding the matter at hand. The author also examines the current trends in corporate criminal liability, by providing empirical evidence on the types of companies convicted, and the magnitude and nature of the imposed sanctions. In addition to this, the writer is aptly devoted to proposing a series of compulsory changes that would remodel and consequently optimize corporate criminal liability in Romania. The second part of the article deals with the general concept of murder. At first, the author analyses different theories regarding the moment of transition from foetus to person, in order to determine at which point in human evolution, a specific action or omission can be considered a homicide. At this stage, the pros, cons and possible interpretation quandaries are exposed. Next in line for analysis is the moment in which life leaves the human body, thus no longer being protected by criminal law. The writer points out the fact that, whether it is separating siamese twins, malpraxis cases or even euthanasia, every now and then, health institutions can and should be held liable for murder. Moving on, the author starts dissecting the concept of homicide, by indicating it’s components. During this phase, dismantling other authors’ thought-to-be outdated opinions on the matter becomes the writer’s main concern. The paper then moves on to delving into the emblematic postures in which legal entities usually find themselves when committing murder. After scrutinizing all the basic issues, the article sets forth a series of solutions to questionable matters regarding the possibility of a legal entity to commit murder.

  • Issue Year: IX/2013
  • Issue No: 01
  • Page Range: 50-109
  • Page Count: 61
  • Language: Romanian