Partnership: criminal liability of partnership as independent entity
Resource type: Legal update: archive
Law stated as at 25-Feb-2008
In W Stevenson & Sons (A Partnership) & Anor v R, the Court of Appeal held that where a criminal statute or statutory instrument expressly applied to a partnership as an independent entity and also dealt with the impact on individual partners, there was no ground for suggesting that the provisions were not permitted by law or capable of being effective in law. In as much as business activities were conducted in the name of a partnership and the partnership had identifiable assets that were distinct from the personal assets of each partner, there was no reason why a partnership should not be treated for the purposes of the criminal law as a separate entity from the partners who were members of it. And where the legislation provided that proceedings could only be brought against an individual partner if the partner was complicit in the offence committed by the partnership, and a partnership alone was indicted, any fine could only be levied against the assets of the partnership, not the assets of individual partners.
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