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 Featured Title
Still Dying for a Living
Corporate Criminal Liability after the Westray Mine Disaster
Steven Bittle  

$95.00 Hardcover
Release Date: 10/16/2012
ISBN: 9780774823593    

$32.95 Paperback
Release Date: 7/1/2013
ISBN: 9780774823609    

268 Pages

Law and Society series


About the Book

Winner, 2014 Outstanding Publication of the Year, National White Collar Crime Consortium (NWCCC)

In 1992, an underground explosion at the Westray Mine in Plymouth, Nova Scotia, killed twenty-six miners. Although the owners of the mine were charged criminally, no one was convicted, largely because it was deemed too difficult to determine legal responsibility.

More than a decade after the Westray disaster, the federal government introduced revisions to the Criminal Code aimed at strengthening corporate criminal liability. Bill C-45, dubbed the Westray bill, requires employers to ensure a safe workplace and attributes criminal liability to organizations for seriously injuring or killing workers and/or the public. Yet, while the federal government declared the Westray bill an important step, the law has thus far failed to produce a crackdown on corporate crime.

In Still Dying for a Living, Steven Bittle turns a critical eye on Canada's corporate criminal liability law. Drawing theoretical inspiration from Foucauldian and neo-Marxist literatures and interweaving in-depth interviews and parliamentary transcripts, Bittle reveals how legal, economic, and cultural discourses surrounding the Westray bill downplayed the seriousness of workplace injury and death, effectively characterizing these crimes as regrettable but largely unavoidable accidents. As long as the primary causes of workplace injury and death are not properly scrutinized, Bittle argues, workers will continue to die in the pursuit of earning a living.

About the Author(s)

Steven Bittle is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Criminology at the University of Ottawa.

Table of Contents

Foreword: The Struggle for Corporate Accountability / Steve Tombs
1 Introduction: What Is Crime?
2 Criminal Liability and the Corporate Form
3 Theorizing Corporate Harm and Wrongdoing
4 Constituting the Corporate Criminal through Law
5 Visions of Economic Grandeur: The Influence of Corporate Capitalism
6 Obscuring Corporate Crime and the Corporate Criminal
7 Disciplining Capital: More of the Same or Hope for the Future?


This is a well-articulated and impressive book that provides far more than a case study of the processes of law-making or the Westray Mine disaster…Bittle has successfully accomplished answering ‘how’ the Westray bill was formed and created and ‘why’ it took the shape it did and ‘why’ the corporate liability legislation remains weak in comparison to traditionally thought of crime control policies. He provides a holistic understanding of the political processes at play before, during, and immediately after the legislation and how this is all impacted by a dominant knowledge or ‘truth’. Consequentially, I would recommend this book to anyone interested in discourse analysis, elite power models, neo-Marxism, corporate or state-corporate crime.
D. L. Rothe , Law and Social Change, September 2013

"This book is timely and needed. Steven Bittle shines light upon the political 'solution' to worker demands for greater protection in the workplace and carefully documents the ways in which these demands are sidetracked, both by the dominant legal discourse and by political manoeuvring."
-- Bob Barnetson is a professor of labour relations at Athabasca University and the author of The Political Economy of Workplace Injury in Canada

"Bittle examines the aftermath of the Westray disaster to deal with one of the more intriguing problems criminal lawyers, criminologists, and sociologists face. Still Dying for a Living not only tells an interesting story about a drama worthy of public attention, but it also explains how we make laws, how political forces coalesce and confront each other, and how the dominant relations of production contour law making. A well-written and fine contribution to a relatively unexplored field."
-- Harry Glasbeek is a professor emeritus at Osgoode Hall Law School, York University, and the author of Wealth by Stealth: Corporate Crime, Corporate Law, and the Perversion of Democracy

"Steven Bittle's text is remarkable for being both a forensic dissection of a specific piece of legislation -- the Westray Bill -- within the context of a specific social issue, corporate manslaughter, while at the same time offering a broader analysis of the ways in which power is exercised in contemporary capitalist economies. Still Dying for a Living is a painstakingly researched and powerfully argued key to understanding our anti-regulatory times. Its analysis and conclusions span national borders and legal cultures."
-- Steve Tombs is a professor of sociology in the School of Humanities and Social Science at John Moores University, Liverpool, UK

Sample Chapter

Sample Chapter [PDF]

Related Topics

Political Science

Other Ways To Order

In Canada, order your copy of Still Dying for a Living from UTP Distribution at:

UTP Distribution
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Toronto, Ontario
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Fax orders: 1(800)221-9985 or (416)667-7832

Ordering information for customers outside Canada

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