StudentShare solutions
Triangle menu

Criminal Law: principles - Essay Example

Nobody downloaded yet

Extract of sample
Criminal Law: principles

The former is primarily concerned with the 'physical' aspect of criminal responsibility whereas the latter is concerned with the 'mental' aspect.
In understanding actus reus one must establish from the very beginning that it constitutes something much wider than just a criminal act. In some instances failure to act or omission constitute actus reus of an offence. It is usual that just a physical act is required to satisfy actus reus requirements. However, in certain circumstances must prevail and certain consequences must follow from the action/s of the accused.
In relation to statutory offences, such statutory provisions and decided cases that have interpreted them will indicate what constitutes the actus reus of a particular offence but may not necessarily indicate that whether or not liability can arise by means of an omission.
Accordingly a useful working definition of actus reus is that it comprises all the elements of the definition of the offence except those that relate to the mental element (mens rea) which is required on the part of the accused. (Allen, 1991, 18).
In understanding the term mens rea it is not easy to decide on the evidentiary criteria for something as hard to define as mental state of a given offender. They are physical control at the time the act took place. Some terms of mens rea known are volition meaning knowledge of the relevant circumstances and foresight of the consequences.
In most crimes if both elements actus rea and mens reus are not present then there is no crime committed. However, in some crimes it does not embrace the above rule and this are offences of strict liability and inchoate cases.

The extent to which, if any, strict liability and inchoate offences differ from the normal requirements of a crime

. In any legal system most crimes must be prescribed to a physical element or a wrongful act commonly known as actus reus; and the mental element or guilty mind known as the mens rea. As reiterated above if both elements are not present then there is simply no crime.
In contrast, strict liability offence is one in which there is no requirement of mens rea in relation to one or more elements of the actus reus. In other words, it focus on the harm done.
In the UK jurisdiction, most strict liability offences are statutory in origin and are often described as regulatory in nature. Therefore there are strict liability offences within the realm of law relating to issues of pollution Alphacell v Woodward [1972] AC 824.
In the above case, the defendants were convicted under section 2(1) of the Rivers (Prevention of Pollution) Act 1951 for causing polluted water to enter a river. It was held that the fact they had no knowledge that the pollution was taking place and that they mistakenly thought that their filtering system was operating effectively did not constitute a defence.
The existence of such offences and the fact that persons can be criminally liable without the prosecution being under any obligation to address the issues of mens rea in relation to one or more elements of the actus reus of an offence would seem to be in direct conflict with everything that we have discussed initially in this paper.
Another ...Show more


Imagine that you have been asked to write a lecture. Your audience will be people of average intelligence, but with no specialist knowledge of the law or legal system. Your objectives are to ensure that your audience understands:-
This paper looks at the fundamental concepts and principles of the system of criminal law…
Author : jeromeferry
Criminal Law: principles essay example
Read Text Preview
Save Your Time for More Important Things
Let us write or edit the essay on your topic
"Criminal Law: principles"
with a personal 20% discount.
Grab the best paper

Check these samples - they also fit your topic

Queensland Principles of Criminal Law
Brian has the intention to inflict grievous bodily harm on Jonas by punching him and pushing him to the river to drown; and (b). Malice on the part of Brian by pushing Jonas to the river, having knowledge that Jonas does not know how to swim and he will drown, thereby causing the death of Jonas.
10 pages (2500 words) Essay
Principles of Criminal Law
While the penalty for inflicting bodily harm or injury to any person with an intent to do so is life imprisonment, it is very different for any bodily harm or injuries caused to a person without intent to do so (Ormerod, 1996). If any person caused bodily harm or injury to another person, they are responsible for a misdemeanor and are liable to a prison sentence not exceeding 2 years (Davis, 2003).
4 pages (1000 words) Essay
Criminal Law: moral [principles
The survival of society holds primacy over individual freedom and liberty. While it is the responsibility of society to protect and secure its individual members, society's bigger accountability is to secure its own survival over and above anything else, including the individual liberties of its members.
8 pages (2000 words) Essay
Civil and criminal law
This article aims at analyzing and presenting the differences between civil law and criminal law in a fairly lucid and easy manner. When is a legal problem criminal and when is it civil What difference does it make whether it is criminal or civil There are more than one ways to answer these questions.
2 pages (500 words) Essay
Criminal Law Essay
Therefore intention is a central part of British law. In British law intention is one of the kinds of mens rea (Latin = Guilty Mind) when it is carried out with an actus reus (Latin = Guilty Act) then a crime is committed. The guilty mind leads the guilty party to carry out the guilty act.
7 pages (1750 words) Essay
Criminal Law or Penal Law, shall we say, is made up of a set of systematic ideas and processes which are most always theorized to come up with a logical conclusion as to how the investigating incident occurred and whether it can be considered criminal
2 pages (500 words) Essay
Criminal law
With the common law the emphasis is on the involvement of the person charged with complicity as an accomplice, whereas in modern law the cause is directed towards the principal offenders conduct that impact on the
3 pages (750 words) Essay
Queensland Principles of Criminal Law
hing him to the river, which is aggravated by the fact that he had personal knowledge that Brian doesn’t know how to swim and that he will die from drowning. Therefore, Brian cannot interpose the defence that he had no intention to kill Brian because from the start, he already
10 pages (2500 words) Essay
Criminal law
In English Law the legal principle for omission rests upon these three principles, and the omission on the part of the individual to act upon any one of these attracts a criminal
4 pages (1000 words) Essay
To what extent is it justifiable to deviate from fundamental principles of criminal law by creating driving offences of strict liability, in the interests of maintaining road safety
There are those who disagree with this school of thought, arguing that the actions of a person directly or indirectly affect others and so even though we enter
10 pages (2500 words) Essay
Hire a pro to write
a paper under your requirements!
Win a special DISCOUNT!
Put in your e-mail and click the button with your lucky finger
Your email
Comments (0)
Click to create a comment
Contact Us