A history of law in England

Download .pdf, .docx, .epub, .txt
Did you like this example?

Rules are necessary in a civilised society to assist us in solving disputes, arising between “the state and the citizen, or between citizens themselves” (Portsmouth NHS Trust v Wyatt and Wyatt [2005] per Hedley J at [4]). However, in any dispute, each party will have rules and principles that best suit their own beliefs or interests. These may vary, depending on their religion, their profession or their status (for example, as a parent, family member or teacher). It is therefore necessary to have a single set of rules that govern everyone equally, so that the decision reached in a dispute is external to the beliefs of any particular group (Arthur et al, Unit 26, p.150). The formal rules governing citizens of a country are described as laws. In order for laws to gain the respect of society, they must follow common values that society holds. Society expects laws to be just and to always be tied to justice (Arthur et al, Unit 26, p.147). But the values held by the public and society generally change and evolve, and the law therefore has to, and indeed does, evolve in an attempt to meet those values. This can be demonstrated by the evolution of the law relating to corporate manslaughter. During the period 2005-2006, 212 workers were killed at work and an additional 146,076 non-fatal injuries were reported (Health and Safety Commission, 2006). Successful prosecutions for such incidents were extremely rare. A number of large scale disasters, such as the Clapham Junction crash in 1997 and the Potters Bar crash in 2002 (Arthur et al, Unit 23 p.18) also saw companies escape liability for serious loss of life, despite evidence of major failings in the organisation, due to lack of evidence. Such incidents might have been treated as unfortunate accidents, but changes in the perceptions of society mean that today people are more concerned that organisations should be held accountable for their failings (Arthur et al, Unit 23 p.8). The law has had to evolve to meet these views. Previously, in order to secure a conviction against a company, it was necessary to identify a ‘controlling mind’ in that company that was responsible for the particular failings. But as for the P&O ferry disaster, it was often the case that the failings of many different people at all levels contributed to the disaster. The introduction of the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 made it easier to prosecute medium and large-sized companies where gross failures of management have led to death. Under the Act, it is now only necessary per Section 1(1) to establish that the way in which the senior management has managed or organised the activities of the organisation is a substantial element of the breach that caused the death. This is no easy feat, as identified by Harris (Harris, cited in Arthur et al, Unit 23 pp.27-29), but it is thought that the Act will improve accountability. However, this is still against the corporation as a legal entity,

Do you want to see the Full Version?

View full version

Having doubts about how to write your paper correctly?

Our editors will help you fix any mistakes and get an A+!

Get started
Leave your email and we will send a sample to you.
Thank you!

We will send an essay sample to you in 2 Hours. If you need help faster you can always use our custom writing service.

Get help with my paper
Sorry, but copying text is forbidden on this website. You can leave an email and we will send it to you.