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Chapter

Cover Smith, Hogan, and Ormerod's Criminal Law

34. Offensive weapons (additional chapter)  

David Ormerod and Karl Laird

Legislation regulating the possession and use of firearms and offensive weapons is of major importance in the prevention of offences against the person and there are a number of offences, some of which have existed for many years, which criminalize the unlawful possession of offensive weapons. This chapter discusses these offences. Although they may seem straightforward, these offences have generated a significant volume of case law. Whether an articles is ‘made for’ causing injury requires the jury to consider whether it is of a kind which is, generally speaking, made for such use.

Chapter

Cover Smith, Hogan, and Ormerod's Criminal Law

9. Mental conditions, intoxication and mistake  

David Ormerod and Karl Laird

This chapter considers the most commonly occurring ‘mental condition defences’, focusing on the pleas of insanity, intoxication and mistake. The common law historically made a distinction between justification and excuse, at least in relation to homicide. It is said that justification relates to the rightness of the act but to excuse as to the circumstances of the individual actor. The chapter examines the relationship between mental condition defences, insanity and unfitness to be tried, and explains the Law Commission’s most recent recommendations for reforming unfitness and other mental condition defences. It explores the test of insanity, disease of the mind (insanity) versus external factor (sane automatism), insane delusions and insanity, burden of proof, function of the jury, self-induced automatism, intoxication as a denial of criminal responsibility, voluntary and involuntary intoxication, dangerous or non-dangerous drugs in basic intent crime and intoxication induced with the intention of committing crime.

Book

Cover Ashworth's Principles of Criminal Law
Principles of Criminal Law takes a distinctly different approach to the study of criminal law, while still covering all of the vital topics found on criminal law courses. Uniquely theoretical, it seeks to elucidate the underlying principles and foundations of the criminal law, and aims to engage readers by analysing the law contextually. This tenth edition looks at issues such as the law’s history and criminal law values, alongside criminal conduct, actus reus, causation, and permissions; criminal capacity, mens rea, and fault, excusatory defences; homicide; non-fatal violations; property crimes; financial crimes; complicity; and inchoate offences. A special aim of the book is to bring an understanding of business activity—in particular small business activity—closer to the centre of the stage, in a discussion of the values protected by the criminal law and of the way in which the law shapes its principles, rules, and standards. A large proportion of criminal offences are drafted with the conduct of businesses, as well as individuals, in mind.

Chapter

Cover Criminal Law

15. Criminal damage  

Michael J. Allen and Ian Edwards

Course-focused and contextual, Criminal Law provides a succinct overview of the key areas on the law curriculum balanced with thought-provoking contextual discussion. The Criminal Damage Act 1971 includes the main offences in English law involving damage to property. This chapter discusses the offence of destroying or damaging property belonging to another, destroying or damaging property with intent to endanger life, threats to destroy or damage property, possessing anything with intent to destroy or damage property, and racially or religiously aggravated criminal damage. The feature ‘The law in context’ examines the prosecution of environmental protesters for criminal damage, including their use of the lawful excuse defence.

Chapter

Cover International Criminal Law

13. Defences or grounds for excluding criminal responsibility  

This chapter addresses one of the more contentious issues in international criminal law: the extent to which a defendant should be able to plead that there are circumstances excusing or justifying what will invariably be appalling crimes. It first notes that while the distinction between justifications and excuses is known in a number of national legal systems, it is of no direct relevance to international criminal law. It then discusses the following defences before international criminal tribunals: mental incapacity, intoxication, self-defence, duress and necessity, mistake of fact and law, and superior orders. It also considers two defences which arise under the law of war crimes: reprisals and ‘tu quoque’, and military necessity.

Chapter

Cover Smith, Hogan, and Ormerod's Criminal Law

27. Offences of damage to property  

David Ormerod and Karl Laird

The principal offences of damage to property are governed by the Criminal Damage Act 1971. Under s 1(1), a person commits an offence if he, without lawful excuse, destroys or damages any property belonging to another with the intention to destroy or damage such property or being reckless as to whether the property will be destroyed or damaged. This chapter deals with offences of damage to property and their mens rea, along with destroying or damaging property with intent to endanger life, arson, racially or religiously aggravated criminal damage, threats to destroy or damage property, possession offences, kindred offences and mode of trial and sentence for those guilty of offences of damage to property.

Chapter

Cover Smith, Hogan and Ormerod's Essentials of Criminal Law

14. General defences  

David Ormerod and John Child

This chapter deals with general complete defences that the accused can use to avoid liability. The focus is on defences that can apply (with one exception) to offences throughout the criminal law and will result in the accused’s acquittal. Five kinds of general complete defences are examined: insanity (as a defence), duress by threats, duress by circumstances, the public and private defence (also known as self-defence), and necessity. The chapter first considers the categorical division between excuses and justifications, before explaining the elements of each of the defences in turn. It then outlines potential options for legal reform concerning individual defences and concludes by discussing the application of the general defences to problem facts. Relevant cases are highlighted throughout the chapter, with brief summaries of the main facts and judgments.

Chapter

Cover Smith, Hogan, and Ormerod's Essentials of Criminal Law

14. General defences  

This chapter deals with general complete defences that the accused can use to avoid liability. The focus is on defences that can apply (with one exception) to offences throughout the criminal law and will result in the accused’s acquittal. Five kinds of general complete defences are examined: insanity (as a defence), duress by threats, duress by circumstances, the public and private defence (also known as self-defence), and necessity. The chapter first considers the categorical division between excuses and justifications, before explaining the elements of each of the defences in turn. It then outlines potential options for legal reform concerning individual defences and concludes by discussing the application of the general defences to problem facts. Relevant cases are highlighted throughout the chapter, with brief summaries of the main facts and judgments.