New draft bills enter Congressional debate to expand spectrum of criminal offenses prosecutable against bodies corporate

Incitement to physical violence based on discrimination and environmental damage are the draft bills that expand the spectrum of offenses to be made part of the law that makes entities criminally liable.

On July 19, 2017, the President of the Republic sent the Chamber of Deputies a draft bill introducing a new offense, i.e. incitement to violence, which sanctions whoever “publicly or through any media outlet, directly incites to physical violence against any group of persons or any member of such group based on race, national or ethnical origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion or beliefs of the victim.”

The draft bill would make this new offense criminally prosecutable against entities “to have them consider preventative measures against discriminatory practices – especially those constituting offenses – as a fundamental part of their organizational, administrative and oversight models.”

This is coupled with the initiative by several deputies who filed a motion on August 22, 2017, to examine a draft bill introducing a new crime against public health and the environment, which sanctions whoever “ intentionally, and without the authorization of the competent authorities, directly or indirectly discharges, deposits or allows the seepage of residual waters, fluids or chemical or biochemical materials, waste or toxic pollutants into the soil, atmosphere or air, or in ocean waters, rivers, lakes or other water masses or watercourses. “ This bill considers including this new offense in Law 20292, given “the particular configuration of these practices, and specifically of their potential perpetrators.”