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Criminal Law - Essay Example

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Criminal Law

Intention leads the guilty party to have prior foresight of consequences that will take place should the act be carried out.
It is different from recklessness since on a subjective basis, there remains foresight without the hope of actually bringing about results. The problem in the courts of law is that the borderline between intention and recklessness is too vague. The court has to decide the extent of the desire to carry out the act and convert recklessness into intention. In DPP v Smith (1961) AC 290, the test was that the individual was taken to foresee and intend to bring about the likeliest actions if he carried out his intentions.
One, 'subjective' recklessness; In this case the defendant understands that a risk may occur if a certain action is carried out, still despite knowing this he still chooses to take that action ignoring the results of his actions. This is often seen when the guilty party decides to drive under the influence knowing full well that his actions could cause an accident.
Two, 'objective' recklessness arises when it is apparent to everyone apart from the defendant that there was a risk. Therefore the risk is so apparent that despite the defendant claims not to have considered the risk this is irrelevant.
Intention has many different levels at the most serious intention can lead to murder. ...
It is not usually a good idea to elaborate on a basic direction of intent: see R v Woollin [1999] 1 Cr App R 8, HL.
Certainty does not necessarily lead to the intention for murder although intention can lead to murder.

Intention has many different levels at the most serious intention can lead to murder. The degrees of intention range from pure intention to recklessness dependant on the nature and seriousness of the crime. When the most serious degree of culpability, justifies the most serious degree of punishment both elements are found in the defendant's mind. (a subjective test) An individual who plots and carries out an act of crime is thought of as a more serious threat than the one whom behaves recklessly. An opportunist might find a sudden opportunity to steal something or become so angry that they harm another. Intention can also arise from the common law principle as well.
One of the most critical sources in the early development of the law on recklessness was an academic piece of work. In his book Outlines of Criminal Law' (published in 1902), Professor Kenny discussed the definition of "maliciously", with specific reference to arson. A large amount of the information in the book was founded on the judgement in the case of R v Harris. At the beginning of the century the fundamental state of the law concerning recklessness was that it was a subjective test that determined the mens rea in criminal acts where the necessary mens rea for the defendant was to cary out an act.
In the case of R v Cunningham (1957) , the defendant took money from a gas meter that resulted in ripping the meter from the wall and leaving the gas pipes exposed. Coal gas escaped into the basement of the house next door and ...Show more

Summary

To make a charge stay currently requires to find the party guilty of recklessness or intent. Currently intention is a central requirement of criminal law since prosecution requires the party to be found guilty of intent. If the party is found not to be guilty of intent a serious crime could be committed and the guilty party could walk away without punishment…
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