p. 593. Mens rea
- Nicola MonaghanNicola MonaghanPrincipal Lecturer in Law, University of Worcester
Without assuming prior legal knowledge, books in the Directions series introduce and guide readers through key points of law and legal debate. Questions, diagrams, and exercises help readers to engage fully with each subject and check their understanding as they progress. This chapter discusses the mens rea elements of a criminal offence. There are two types of intention: direct and oblique. A person directly intends a consequence that he desires. Where he instead merely appreciates that it is virtually certain to occur, a jury may find he intended the consequence. This is oblique intent. Subjective recklessness requires two questions to be asked: (a) did D foresee the possibility of the consequence occurring; and (b) was it unreasonable to take the risk? The actus reus and mens rea must coincide in time for the defendant to be guilty. The continuing act or ‘single transaction’ theories might be employed to establish coincidence.