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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 13 Hansard (27 November) . . Page.. 4896 ..

(b) having regard to the circumstances known to the person, it is unjustifiable to take the risk.

(3) The question whether taking a risk is unjustifiable is a question of fact.

(4) If recklessness is a fault element for a physical element of an offence, proof of intention, knowledge or recklessness satisfies the fault element.

We believe that this definition of recklessness is a much tighter and much fairer definition to be applicable to this new offence the government has now put down.

MS GALLAGHER (Minister for Education, Youth and Family Services, Minister for Women and Minister for Industrial Relations) (9.26): The government won't be supporting either of these amendments as they would remove the component from the proposed offences relating to negligent manslaughter. Manslaughter applies to deaths caused by both criminally reckless and criminally negligent conduct.

The existing manslaughter offence in the Crimes Act applies to a person who is criminally negligent and causes the death of another person. Therefore if the negligence component of the two offences was removed, it would simply have the following effect, contrary to Mr Pratt's claim: employers and senior officers who are natural persons could continue to be prosecuted where they were criminally negligent and cause the death of a worker, only this prosecution would occur under the general manslaughter offence in section 15 rather than under the industrial manslaughter offences in sections 49C and 49D. Employers who are corporations could only be prosecuted where the corporation recklessly caused the death of a worker. There would be no effective capacity to prosecute a corporate employer who is criminally negligent and caused the death of a worker of the corporation.

Therefore, there would be two standards established: the normal manslaughter standard for employers who are natural persons, and a different lower standard for corporations. This would essentially allow corporate employers to be criminally negligent in causing the death of a worker and escape prosecution.

MS TUCKER (9.28): Amendment No 1 and amendment No 3 seek to fundamentally alter the definition and legal test for the offence of manslaughter for one group in society-for corporations. They propose removing one of the mental fault elements from this offence-that of negligence.

Do the Liberals truly want to let corporations get away with criminal negligence manslaughter? Do they really think it would be better for the community that, in a situation that involves a high risk of death and a corporation's conduct falls so far short of the standard of care a reasonable person would have exercised in the circumstances that criminal punishment is warranted, a corporation should get off scot-free for the actions that led to someone's death?

The links can be clearly shown. This law applies to corporations the same standards for manslaughter that already apply to everyone else. It means that corporations cannot escape their responsibilities. Criminal negligence is defined in the Criminal Code to

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