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Law School Organizes Seminar for Corporate Criminal Code

National Taipei University’s (NTPU) College of Law organized a seminar for Corporate Criminal Code related issues between Oct. 22 and Oct. 23, while law professors from Germany and Austria shared their views with local counterparts.

Many law professionals believe that only “individuals” would break the Criminal Code instead of a “company” that criminal charges against a “company” would usually be dropped whenever there is one. The Ting Hsin International Group was involved in food scandal four years ago but the company was only fined for NT$38 million because judges took advantage of this concept – that criminal charges only apply to “individuals” instead of “companies.” This case, again, highlighted the issue and made it a public concern.

Assistant Law Professor Wang Chih-fan (王士帆) said that many people believe criminal charges would not apply to “companies” but this concept is not necessarily accurate. There are related laws to punish “companies” but it is necessary to discuss whether these charges should be covered by the Criminal Code, instead of additional articles or independent related laws.

Wang said that such a concept has been accepted by many European countries except Germany. In Austria, for example, they do have a special law to punish “companies” when “companies” are defendants in a suit.

The professor also said, however, details or actual plans whether related punishments for “companies” should be covered by the Criminal Code and how relate punishments should be made for “companies” as defendants are still up in the air as of now.

Prof. Wolfgang Frisch from University of Freiburg’s Institute of Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure, Prof. Helmut Satzger from Ludwig-Maximilians -University Munuch were invited as panelists to share their views and reasons why company are not listed as defendants on trial in Germany, while Prof. Peter Lewisch from University of Vienna shared his view what kind of penalties a company may be facing once it is listed as a defendant.

Frisch believes that the controversial issue is controversial because there are different definitions toward whether a “company” can be punished. Lewisch, meanwhile, said that what is being carried out in Austria may not apply to what it is in Taiwan today.

In the meantime, law school also signed a memorandum with Ludwig-Maximilians -University Munuch for a closer tie.