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Changes sought for U.K. corporate manslaughter bill


EDINBURGH, Scotland--A Scottish Member of Parliament has dropped proposals for the introduction of corporate culpable homicide bill.

Karen Gillon, Member of the Scottish Parliament, said in a statement that she would now seek changes to a corporate manslaughter bill currently going through the United Kingdom Parliament.

She said those amendments would include individual liability for company directors.Currently, under Scottish law, a conviction for culpable homicide can only be made against a company director if that individual is deemed to be a "controlling mind" of the company. Culpable homicide refers to cases where death is caused by improper conduct and where the guilt is considered less than murder.

In 2005, the Scottish Executive set up an expert group to review the law on corporate liability for culpable homicide.The group proposed to amend the law so that "a natural person may be guilty of culpable homicide if that person causes the death of another recklessly or by gross negligence" and that an organization or Crown agency may also be found guilty of such an offense.

The U.K. bill seeks to change the law to introduce a new offense of corporate manslaughter.