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White-collar crimes differ from the popular conception of 'crime’ as involving the most unambiguously blameworthy sorts of conduct in which citizens can engage. This subject will examine how these crimes are dealt with under Australian rules on criminal responsibility, procedure, proof and punishment. It will also consider the various other enforcement options available to regulators to sanction similar (or the same) corporate misconduct, including negotiated outcomes, administrative proceedings and civil enforcement.
Adopting a comparative perspective (between Australia and relevant overseas jurisdictions, such as the United States), this subject will examine the major policy questions in the area of white-collar crime and regulatory enforcement, including (1) compliance or deterrence; (2) how to achieve corporate behavioural change; (3) the role of reputation in punishment; and (4) choosing between individual or corporate liability.
The subject will be of interest to government lawyers, corporate counsel and litigators - anyone who is interested in the often blurry lines that distinguish criminal from non-criminal behaviour.
Note that this subject includes an advanced analysis of aspects of Australian criminal law. The classes and the take-home examination assume a prior knowledge of Australian criminal law as taught in the core curriculum of Australian law degrees.
Principal topics include:
- The theory and policy of white-collar crime and regulation
- Corporate criminality and individual liability in an organisational setting
- Processes, proof and sentencing for business and organisational crime
- Advanced examination of criminal offences in the Corporations Act 2001 and the interaction of those provisions with the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth) and Crimes Act 1914.
Intended learning outcomes
A student who has successfully completed this subject will:
- Have an advanced and integrated understanding of the operation of the criminal law in business and organisational settings
- Understand the difference between different types of regulatory offences (administrative, civil and criminal)
- Be an engaged participant in debate regarding the proper boundaries of the criminal law and the criminal justice system in business and regulatory settings
- Have a sophisticated appreciation of comparative approaches to the investigation, prosecution and punishment of crimes in business and organisational settings
- Have the cognitive and technical skills to independently examine, research and analyse statutory and common law rules and offences in business and regulatory settings.
Last updated: 2 December 2019