The government may implement powers to extend the debate past July 19

Law firm Beachcroft has issued an update on the progress of the Corporate Manslaughter Bill.

Beachcroft said: “Since our last update on the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Bill at the end of May, little progress has been made in Parliament. The Bill is currently in a state of "ping pong" between the House of Commons and House of Lords, meaning that the two Houses are essentially in gridlock over the issue of whether or not the Bill should apply to deaths in custody.

“Despite the House of Commons having proposed a compromise that a new clause be added giving the Secretary of State power in the future to enact secondary legislation to amend the Act to cover deaths in custody, this has been rejected by the Lords and reinstated by the Commons once again.

“It had been thought that failure to reach compromise by the 19 July could mean the death of the Bill but a recent indication from Cathy Ashton, (then Junior Minister for the Ministry of Justice and now Leader of the Lords), is that the Government may implement its rarely used powers to carry the Bill over to the next session of Parliament, and therefore for the debate to continue post 19 July.

“What effect the new Home Secretary might have on the Bill and whether in fact both sides are simply trying to call each other's bluff and that one side will compromise on its position before 19 July remains unclear. It seems unlikely (in view of the length of time formulating the Bill and public demand) that the Bill will not be enacted as law this year but at the moment when and if it is going to become law and what form it will take in relation to deaths in custody is very much up in the air.”