White-Collar Criminal: The Offender in Business and the Professions

By Gilbert Geis | Go to book overview

9
INCREASING COMMUNITY CONTROL OVER
CORPORATE CRIME: A PROBLEM
IN THE LAW OF SANCTIONS

Alan M. Dershowitz

When individuals employ the corporate form in an illegal fashion, the community, acting through its various official agencies, may respond in a variety of ways. It may punish, it may enjoin future illegality, and it may require compensation of the injured. The edict implementing the community response may run directly against the corporate form, and it may run directly against the individuals. In each case, the responsible agency should select a response or a set of responses that will most justly and efficiently maximize formalized community values. This article attempts to construct an analytical framework against which available and proposed community responses to the illegal employment of the corporate form may be evaluated.

The construction of such a framework cannot begin until the concept "corporation" is defined. The corporation is a legal form embodying a complex of relationships. At this level, it has much in common with such other abstract legal forms as marriage, property, and contract. Because "corporation" is a term on a very high level of abstraction, it frequently

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Reprinted by permission of the Yale Law Journal Company and Fred B. Rothman & Company from the Yale Law Journal, 71 ( September, 1961), pp. 289-306.

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