Table of Contents

Research Handbook on International Financial Crime

Research Handbook on International Financial Crime

Research Handbooks in Financial Law series

Edited by Barry Rider

A significant proportion of serious crime is economically motivated. Almost all financial crimes will be either motivated by greed, or the desire to cover up misconduct. This Handbook addresses financial crimes such as fraud, corruption and money laundering, and highlights both the risks presented by these crimes, as well as their impact on the economy. The contributors cover the practical issues on the topic on a transnational level, both in terms of the crimes and the steps taken to control them. They place an emphasis on the prevention, disruption and control of financial crime. They discuss, in eight parts, the nature and characteristics of economic and financial crime, the enterprise of crime, business crime, the financial sector at risk, fraud, corruption, the proceeds of financial and economic crime, and enforcement and control.

Chapter 16: Corporate criminal responsibility: a South African perspective

Johan Henning and Mignon Hauman

Subjects: economics and finance, financial economics and regulation, law - academic, corruption and economic crime, finance and banking law


The origin of the corporation can be traced back to Roman law, and over the years various theoretical approaches have evolved to give the corporation context within the law for the purpose of regulation. The full extent of the implications of the separation of the corporate personality – be it fictitiousor realistic – from that of its individual members’ personalities was demonstrated in the case of Salomon v A Salomon & Co Ltd, where it was concluded that a company is, for all intents and purposes, altogether a different person from its shareholders. Essentially, a corporation is an artificial person in that it is invisible, intangible, existing only in contemplation of law and at common law possessing only those properties which the charter of its creation confers upon it, either expressly or incidental to its existence. In practice the corporation thus primarily operates as a legal device that serves to simplify and stabilize the complicated web of contractual relationships that an association of shareholders has to have with a multitude of outside parties in order to participate in society. Yet, given the artificiality of its nature, a corporation needs organization in order to make use of its own assets in society: a corporation is a legal construct incapable of performing any acts except through the acts of flesh and blood human beings. The increasingly active role that corporations assume in all aspects of modern life is accompanied by their correspondingly increased participation in criminal activities.

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