The case of R v Stringer and Dean provides a unique insight into issues of dishonesty and possible jury nullification in offences designed to control corporate misbehaviour. The jury were unconvinced of the defendants' dishonest state of mind in the first (and to date only) case to be tried under the UK's cartel offence. This was despite no attempt being made to dispute the existence of the cartel or present evidence in their defence. The paper asks whether the trial highlights flaws in the concept of dishonesty or reflects a broader problem of jury nullification in offences relating to corporate misconduct. It concludes that although dishonesty is unpredictable and can be easily challenged in the context of business misconduct, there is also a significant danger that juries question the legitimacy of treating cartels and other forms of business misconduct as crime, regardless of how an offence is designed.
- Criminal law