2020 LIRC Seminar Series
Date: 30 September 2020, 12:30 – 1:30pm AEST via Zoom
Presenter: Associate Professor Sheikh Solaiman
Abstract: Industrial homicides are now widely regarded as corporate manslaughter. Workplace deaths have been a global concern following the loss of 6,300 workers’ lives every day, totalling 2.3 million deaths per year at work across the globe. These alarming figures include fatalities that have occurred in Singapore, Fiji, and Australia ─ three common law countries. As revealed in Suva by a resident magistrate in July 2019, at least 160 workers reportedly die each year in Fiji, suggesting that this is an area which needs to be looked at immediately. Despite such a significant number of deaths and the adoption of the Australian Commonwealth scheme of corporate liability for Fiji a decade ago, no record of corporate manslaughter conviction has been found. Likewise, Singapore, which lacks a separate corporate manslaughter law, mirrors the same level of passivity in prosecuting corporations for homicide, though about 50 workers die there per year. Notably, Australia has been making steady progress towards reducing such casualties. This paper examines the corporate manslaughter laws of Singapore, Fiji and Australia, aimed at finding out if Australian state/territory laws can be of help in improving the corresponding laws of the other two nations.