The Health And Safety (Offences) Act 2008: A New Era for Sentencing?
The Health and Safety (Offences) Act 2008 (the Act) received Royal Assent on 16 October 2008, and is due to come into force this Friday, 16 January 2009. The statute, long-awaited by the HSE and lobbyists alike, seeks to broaden the penalties available to the Court when sentencing health and safety offences, by providing for increased fines and introducing imprisonment as a sanction. This latter provision of the Act is likely to attract much attention when it comes into force. Whilst lobbyists and members of the public might welcome the new sanction as a way of holding directors and senior managers accountable, in practice this sits uncomfortably with the recent introduction of the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 (the Corporate Manslaughter Act), which, conversely, chose not to create a separate offence that could be committed by directors and managers.
In May 2008, international law firm Hammonds became a limited liability partnership. Hammonds LLP and its affiliated undertakings has offices in Birmingham, Leeds, London and Manchester in the UK, and in Berlin, Brussels, Beijing, Hong Kong, Madrid, Munich and Paris.