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Chapter

Cover Ashworth's Principles of Criminal Law

13. Inchoate Offences  

This chapter begins by explaining the concept of an inchoate or ‘incomplete’ offence. Such an offence may occur when D does all that he or she can do to commit the crime (such as shooting at the victim), but simply fails to bring about the outcome. Alternatively, such an offence may occur when D is still at the stage of preparation for committing the offence, but has come so close to committing it that it would be right to call the acts in question an ‘attempt’ in themselves. The chapter then discusses the justifications for penalizing attempts at crimes, the elements of criminal attempt, the justifications for an offence of conspiracy, the elements of criminal conspiracy, encouraging or assisting crime, voluntary renunciation of criminal purpose, the relationship between substantive and inchoate crimes, and the place of inchoate liability.

Chapter

Cover Smith, Hogan, & Ormerod's Text, Cases, & Materials on Criminal Law

7. Murder  

This chapter examines the law on murder. It considers when does life begin and end for the purposes of the law of murder; should an intention to cause really serious harm suffice as the mens rea for murder; and how might this area of the law be reformed so as to reflect generally recognized principles of the criminal law?

Chapter

Cover Criminal Law Concentrate

2. Actus reus  

Each Concentrate revision guide is packed with essential information, key cases, revision tips, exam Q&As, and more. Concentrates show you what to expect in a law exam, what examiners are looking for, and how to achieve extra marks. This chapter reviews the actus reus elements of criminal offence. The actus reus consists of prohibited conduct (acts or omissions), prohibited circumstances, and/or prohibited consequences (results). A person can be criminally liable for omissions at common law, but imposing this liability can be controversial. Causation is a key part of consequence/result crimes. The prosecution must prove that the result was caused by the defendant. In order to do this, the chain of causation must first be established, and then consideration must be given to any intervention which might break the chain.

Chapter

Cover Smith, Hogan, & Ormerod's Text, Cases, & Materials on Criminal Law

11. Sexual offences  

This chapter examines the law governing sexual offences found in the Sexual Offences Act 2003, focusing on non-consensual offences. Some of the controversies examined include the following: Parliament’s failure to define core elements of the offences, such as ‘consent’ and ‘sexual’ and the attempts by the courts to fill these lacunae; whether a deception perpetrated by the defendant necessarily vitiates the complainant’s consent; and the overly wide breadth of some of the offences.

Chapter

Cover Criminal Law Concentrate

5. Non-fatal offences against the person  

Each Concentrate revision guide is packed with essential information, key cases, revision tips, exam Q&As, and more. Concentrates show you what to expect in a law exam, what examiners are looking for, and how to achieve extra marks. This chapter examines the five principal non-fatal offences against the person: assault and battery (the common assaults) and the offences under ss 47, 20, and 18 Offences Against the Person Act 1861 (OAPA). The victim’s consent may negate the offence, but whether or not it does depends to a great extent on the type of crime, what the victim knows, the extent of the harm which is caused, and matters of public policy. Stalking and harassment may amount to a crime in certain circumstances. Four of the principal assaults are aggravated if the crime committed is motivated by religious or racial hatred.

Chapter

Cover Criminology

16. Violent, aggressive and sexual offences  

This chapter shows that, although psychological explanations have been used to explain various types of criminal or deviant behaviour, it is violent and sexual offences that are most frequently subjected to analysis. Many crimes involve behaviour that was formerly considered perfectly acceptable, but which society has subsequently decided to criminalise. However, psychological theories are particularly suitable for explaining unusual behaviour that often appears aggressive and is likely to be deprecated in most countries. Some may indulge in a range of criminal offences that many people find easy to understand, if not condone: crimes against property—which make up the bulk of recorded criminal offences—being perhaps the best example of this. Despite the fact that violence was far more common in earlier centuries, many people nowadays find excessively violent and sexual crimes far more difficult to comprehend.

Chapter

Cover Criminology

3. What do crime statistics tell us?  

Tim Hope

This chapter focuses on one of the most popular of crime statistics—the crime rate—which provides an index of crime occurring in a particular jurisdiction for a specific time period. It discusses the nature of crime statistics; counting crime; recording incidents as criminal offences; reporting crime to the police; the frequency of crime victimization; and the rate of crime victimization.

Chapter

Cover Smith, Hogan, & Ormerod's Text, Cases, & Materials on Criminal Law

13. Robbery  

This chapter examines the offence of robbery. It is a very serious statutory offence that is, in essence, an aggravated form of theft. The chapter considers the circumstances in which it would be more appropriate to charge someone with theft rather than robbery. The chapter also examines the difficulties in defining the word ‘force’, which is key to establishing liability for robbery.

Chapter

Cover Smith, Hogan, & Ormerod's Text, Cases, & Materials on Criminal Law

14. Burglary and related offences  

This chapter examines the offence of burglary in addition to a number of related offences. It is a statutory offence that turns on the defendant having been a trespasser at the time he entered the building in question. The chapter examines how this term has been interpreted by the courts and also examines some other key issues that have arisen over the years, such as the definition of ‘building’. The chapter also examines a number of related offences.

Chapter

Cover Smith, Hogan, & Ormerod's Text, Cases, & Materials on Criminal Law

18. Secondary liability  

This chapter considers the liability of someone who aids, abets, counsels or procures someone else to commit a criminal offence. The chapter examines the actus reus and the mens rea that must be present before someone will be guilty as a secondary party. The chapter examines the now discredited doctrine of joint enterprise and considers the implications of the Supreme Court’s judgment in Jogee. The chapter evaluates the merits of the Supreme Court’s judgment and also considers past efforts at statutory reform of secondary liability.

Chapter

Cover Smith, Hogan, & Ormerod's Text, Cases, & Materials on Criminal Law

19. Attempt  

This chapter examines the law of attempts. It considers the precise mens rea for attempt: whether in addition to intending any result required for the crime, D must also intend the circumstances of the substantive offence in order to be guilty of attempting it; how far D’s acts must go in committing the substantive offence before he will be guilty of an attempt; whether the law criminalizes D who attempts to commit an offence even though on the facts it would have been impossible for him to commit the substantive offence; and reasons as to why it is appropriate to criminalize attempts to commit crimes.

Chapter

Cover Smith, Hogan, & Ormerod's Text, Cases, & Materials on Criminal Law

2. The elements of a crime  

This chapter focuses on the meaning of actus reus and mens rea. It explains the constituents of an actus reus; the requirement of an act; the coincidence of actus reus and mens rea; and criminal liability without an act.

Chapter

Cover Smith, Hogan, & Ormerod's Text, Cases, & Materials on Criminal Law

4. Omissions  

This chapter considers the question of whether, and if so, how, the criminal law should impose liability for omissions. It discusses the courts’ approach to the imposition of liability for omissions and presents cases to demonstrate the difficulty of distinguishing between acts and omissions. It also addresses the link between omissions and causation.

Chapter

Cover Criminal Law Concentrate

9. Inchoate offences  

Each Concentrate revision guide is packed with essential information, key cases, revision tips, exam Q&As, and more. Concentrates show you what to expect in a law exam, what examiners are looking for, and how to achieve extra marks. This chapter discusses inchoate offences. Inchoate offences are where the full offence is not completed. The reason why the law fixes liability on defendants who have not fulfilled the full offence is to punish those who are willing to be involved in criminality even where the full offence is not, for one reason or another, completed. The law governing all inchoate offences is in a state of flux; the common law offence of incitement was replaced with new offences under the Serious Crime Act 2007. The law governing conspiracy and attempts was the subject of a Law Commission Report in December 2009.

Chapter

Cover Criminal Law Directions

15. Inchoate offences  

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 deals with liability for inchoate offences. ‘Inchoate’ means incomplete or undeveloped. Where, for whatever reason, the full criminal offence is not committed, the defendant may still be liable for an inchoate offence. There are three types of inchoate offence: encouraging or assisting crime, conspiracy, and attempt. There are three offences of encouraging or assisting crime under the Serious Crime Act 2007, namely intentionally encouraging or assisting an offence, encouraging or assisting an offence believing it will be committed, and encouraging or assisting offences believing one or more will be committed.

Chapter

Cover Ashworth's Principles of Criminal Law

10. Property Offences  

This chapter discusses property offences. These include theft, taking a conveyance without consent, robbery, blackmail, burglary, handling stolen goods, and criminal damage. Among these, the offence receiving the most detailed treatment is theft. The current definition of theft dates back to 1968, long before the time when it became possible to hold and transfer money and other items (such as photographs) electronically, and the courts have sought to interpret the law in such a way that it can meet this challenge. But, in seeking to modernize the law’s approach to new forms of property holding and transfer, has the definition become too wide?

Chapter

Cover Smith, Hogan, & Ormerod's Text, Cases, & Materials on Criminal Law

22. General defences  

This chapter focuses on defences. The following controversies are examined: whether the fact of childhood constitutes a defence; the extent to which duress can negate criminal liability; whether necessity ought to be a defence; whether recent legislative developments have rendered self-defence unduly complex; and the distinction between justifications and excuses and whether these classifications have any practical import.

Chapter

Cover Criminal Law Concentrate

13. Other property offences  

Each Concentrate revision guide is packed with essential information, key cases, revision tips, exam Q&As, and more. Concentrates show you what to expect in a law exam, what examiners are looking for, and how to achieve extra marks. This chapter examines six offences: criminal damage, robbery, burglary, handling stolen goods, making off without payment, and squatting. What the offences share is that they relate in some way to property. Although rarely examined on their own, these topics are often assessed as part of bigger questions, sometimes incorporating other offences (eg theft, assault) and sometimes involving aspects of the general defences too.

Chapter

Cover Criminal Law Concentrate

3. Mens rea  

Each Concentrate revision guide is packed with essential information, key cases, revision tips, exam Q&As, and more. Concentrates show you what to expect in a law exam, what examiners are looking for, and how to achieve extra marks. This chapter reviews the mens rea elements of criminal offence. Mens rea means guilty mind, but the term is better thought of as the fault element of the offence. The role of mens rea is to attribute fault or blameworthiness (also called culpability) to the actus reus. The main types of mens rea are intention, recklessness, and negligence. Issues may arise when the mens rea and actus reus do not coincide in time. The doctrine of transferred malice allows mens rea to be transferred from the intended victim to the unintended victim, in certain situations.

Chapter

Cover Criminal Law Concentrate

4. Strict liability  

Each Concentrate revision guide is packed with essential information, key cases, revision tips, exam Q&As, and more. Concentrates show you what to expect in a law exam, what examiners are looking for, and how to achieve extra marks. This chapter discusses the crime of strict liability. A strict liability offence is one which does not require mens rea in respect of at least one element of the actus reus. Strict liability is often referred to as no-fault liability. Strict liability is very rare at common law. Where a statute is silent as to mens rea, the judge must interpret the provision to decide if the offence has mens rea (the starting point) or is one of strict liability. There is a debate about whether the imposition of criminal liability in the absence of proof of fault can be justified.