Aspects of Criminal Law Relating to Business

An optional unit towards your BTEC qualification in Business.

This Unit is one of the optional units you can study towards your BTEC qualification in Business.

Edexcel BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma in Business
Edexcel BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Business
Edexcel BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Business.

This unit considers aspects of criminal law which affect businesses and employees. The general principles of a guilty act (actus reus) and guilty mind (mens rea) are needed for many crimes, but there are numerous offences of strict liability that are committed without any mental element. These crimes, being of strict or absolute liability, are often regulatory in nature and some see there to be little real blame. However, they can have a significant effect on a business, not just as a result of fines and other sanctions but also in the negative publicity that convictions bring.

Specific offences are included in this unit relating to property offences and corporate manslaughter. Both these areas require learners to understand the basic principles of common property offences and homicide. The focus is on the impact these crimes have on a business in terms of corporate liability and as a victim, such as cases of employee theft. This is a substantial part of the unit and allows evaluation of the law as it stands. There have been several high-profile corporate manslaughter cases that do not always appear to have had a satisfactory conclusion, and regrettably there may be more.

Criminal offences are usually investigated by the police and prosecutions are brought through the Crown Prosecution Service. However, many other inspectors and authorities have powers of entry, search and seizure of property which can affect a business. Learners need to be aware of the main authorities that can do this and the limits on their powers.

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Units and Topics

The following units are part of the Edexcel BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Business course

Aspects of Contract and Business Law

Aspects of Civil Liability for Business

Aspects of the Legal System and Law-making Process

Aspects of Criminal Law Relating to Business