This 32 page booklet was originally part of Joel Silver's paper for his Master's degree at the Melbourne University law school - "Corporate and White Collar Criminal Law".
Joel sets out the differences between the main law covering unionists behaviour - the Registered Organisations Act 2009 and the main law covering corporations and their directors, the Corporations Act 2001.
Joel examines the Williamson/Thomson HSU defalcation in some detail. He also looks at the BLF and Norm Gallagher and Bruce Wilson et al in The AWU Scandal.
I'll highlight a few of the key differences in the laws that apply to companies, compared to the Gillard laws that apply to unions.
- Corporations Act makes some breaches criminal offences. There is no provision for criminal offences for breaches of the Registered Organisations Act for unions.
- The common law and the Corporations Law require company directors to act in "good faith" and for a "proper purpose". The Unions Registered Organisations Act has a significant difference, union leaders are required to act in "what he or she believes to be the best interests of the organisation".
- The Corporations Act provides that directors who breach provisions of the law can be declared disqualified persons and banned from acting as a director of a company for a period of time. No such provision exists in the union related Registered Organisations Act.
- The financial penalties available to courts for Company Directors in breach of the Corporations Law range up to $200,000. Until last year the Registered Organisations Act for union leaders had a maximum penalty of $2,200, increased last year to $10,020.
Joel Silver has done the nation a terrific service in researching and writing this paper. I heartily commend it to you.