Topic: Corporate Criminal Punishment in Austria: Background, function, limits, and open questions

Presenter: Professor Peter Lewisch

Austria is a country with a continental legal tradition and it can be considered a “latecomer” regarding the introduction of corporate criminal responsibility. The enactment of the respective legal provisions was the result of international developments; it is not attributable to a shift of opinion within the Austrian legal community. 

The presentation discusses the reasons underlying corporate criminal responsibility in Austria, the specific case (“Kaprun case”) that sparked the discussion, the legal structure of the respective concept (attribution of a “fully specified crime” to the legal person to whose advantage it has been committed) and open questions regarding the constitutionality of this instrument. The presentation also analyses both the role of corporate criminal responsibility for compliance and the low incidence of respective proceedings and verdicts. Finally, it discusses possible legislative developments in the near future, in particular the idea of shifting criminal responsibility back to the sphere of administrative penal law.

All welcome, no RSVP required.

Contact: Jane Gay, ph: (336) 52523, email:

About Research Seminar Series

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Sir Samuel Griffith Room, 1-W341, Forgan Smith Building
Sir Samuel Griffith Room