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Criminal Law: problem analysis - Case Study Example

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Criminal Law: problem analysis

It provides that a person is guilty of conspiracy if he agrees with any other person or persons to pursue a course of conduct which if carried out as intended, will necessarily amount to the commission of an offence by one or more of the parties to the agreement or would do so but for the existence of facts which renders the commission of the offences impossible.
Gabrielle persuaded Carl to find a 'hit-man' to do the job as Carl had plenty of contacts among his clients. Carl arranged for Drew, his contact. They will be liable under common law and statutory conspiracy, because it was possible to commit the unlawful killing [R v O'Brien 2 ]. According to Section 1(1), Para (b) of the Criminal Law Act 1977 makes it clear that, as far as statutory conspiracy is concerned, the fact that the agreement is impossible to carry out is no bar to liability. In R v Scott 3 held that the agreement must be communicated between the parties. So they can exclude liability of conspiracy and may be charged these acts.
Gabrielle was having a relationship with her personal trainer, Carl; as a result they are still liable because they are not married. A person shall not be guilty of conspiracy if the only other person with whom he agrees is his spouse (s 2(2)(a).
There appear to be two elements to the means rea for conspiracy. ...
Gabrielle had had second thoughts and had been trying all day to contact Carl to cancel the plan but Carl's mobile telephone was faulty and he did not receive the call. From the fact of the question it is clear that Gabrielle had intention to killing her husband, Ben.

Though she changed her mind, she had second thought. So, the means rea is continuing with the Actus Reus. On the other hand the difficulties have arisen with the second element. In R v Anderson 4 a co-conspirator (the defendant) provided wire cutters to another prisoner to facilitate an escape; the defendant claimed that his only interest was money and did not believe the escape would success and therefore could not have intended it. In upholding a conviction for conspiracy, Lord Bridge decided, firstly, that a defendant could be convicted of conspiracy without having the intention that the agreement be carried out, and secondly, it is sufficient mens rea if, and only if, the defendant intended to play some part in the agreed course of conduct in furtherance of the criminal purpose. However, both propositions are now widely considered to be wrong but they have not been expressly overruled.

The first proposition is difficult to reconcile with s 1(1) and Criminal Law Act 1977 which requires there to be an agreement which if carried out in accordance with their intentions would necessarily amount to the commission of an offence. The Privy Council subsequently held that in Yip Chiu Cheung v R 5 that it must established that each conspirator intended the agreement to be carried out, but Anderson remains the highest authority. Lord Bridge's second proposition has also been criticised, as it would appear to exclude from criminal sanction those who plan but do not take part in offences like ...Show more

Summary

This problem question raises some issues from homicide, inchoate offences. In order to answer this question it is necessary to discuss transferred malice, conspiracy, and mens rea of Ben, Carl and Drew. The criminal liability of Ben, Carl and Drew is discussed bellow.
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Criminal Law: problem analysis essay example
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