Corporate Criminal Liability in the European Union – a new project of ILS PAS and ELI

We are pleasure to announce that the ELI Council adopted the new project at its February 2023 meeting, which emerged out of an ELI High Level Expert Group meeting and aims to develop Model Rules on the matter.

European Union Member States show very different approaches to the issue of corporate liability at present. The liability of legal persons for punishable acts is not recognised as criminal in all countries or, where recognised, might not be prosecuted in practice. In some jurisdictions corporate liability is subsidiary or alternative to individuals’ liability, while in other countries entities are prosecuted together with their employees.

The new ELI and ILS PAS project therefore aims at providing guidance to national legislators and/or the EU by proposing a framework for harmonising rules of responsibility and sanctions imposed on corporations for crimes. A (more) harmonised approach to corporate liability for crimes throughout the EU would allow for more effective prosecution of actions and a better European response to crime. This would contribute to a more secure environment in the EU for citizens, companies and professionals. Moreover, a harmonised approach to the issue of corporate liability appears necessary to improve the protection of the EU’s financial interests.

The Project Team will develop a set of Model Rules on corporate criminal liability and sanctions applied to corporations for crimes committed to their benefit by individuals. The Model Rules will be accompanied by background materials.

More information about the project is available here. All interested ELI Members are invited to join its Members Consultative Committee by sending an email to the ELI Secretariat.

The project is generously supported by a grant from the European Anti-Fraud Office.