Answer to Question #58012 in Law for ALEXANDER

Question #58012
"Whenever the courts have determined the issue of criminal liability of a company, the minds and bodies of the officers and servants of the corporation have been taken to supply its lack of mental and physical faculties. It is one thing to attribute legal capacities to a company, but quite another to treat it as having the characteristics and qualities of human beings." Discuss.
Expert's answer
Category of the legal entity is one of the most problematic in modern science. It is common known that a legal entity, as well as an individual, is the subject of law. Scientists have developed many theories to explain the nature of the legal entity, such as: "the theory of fiction" (Friedrich Carl von Savigny), the theory of "personalized goals" (Alois von Brienz), "realistic theory" (R.Saleilles) "theory of interest" ( Rudolf von Jhering), "team theory" (A. Venediktov), "the theory of directors" (YK Tolstoy).
For example, in the UK, the act is deemed to be committed by a corporation if it is made directly or through other persons. At the same time, corporation activity differs from substitutive actions of an individual. Further, it should be noted that according to British criminal law the use of legal person's fines as a measure of criminal punishment is permitted. However, they can not be applied with criminal penalties, which are assigned to an individual for a crime.
According to British law corporations such as incorporated companies, public corporations or governments can be held criminally responsible.
The idea that corporations should be held criminally responsible was recognized in the mid-19th century, when the courts started to adjudicate corporations to be guilty of violating statutory duties, and then for the improper fulfillment of legal actions that lead to the creation of danger or inconvenience society. So, in 1846, Lord Denman ruled on the case «The Queen v. Great North of England Railway Co », according to which a corporation may be recognized as criminally liable for misfeasance.
Institute of criminal liability of legal persons is regulated in many countries belonging to the Romano-Germanic legal family (continental law system).

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