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Chapter

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

5. Fault  

This chapter considers the different types of fault required by criminal law. It examines the definitions and/or applications of the following concepts: intention, recklessness, malice, knowledge, and negligence.

Chapter

Cover Essential Cases: Criminal Law

R v G and R [2003] UKHL 50, House of Lords  

Essential Cases: Criminal Law provides a bridge between course textbooks and key case judgments. This case document summarizes the facts and decision in R v G and R [2003] UKHL 50, House of Lords. The document also included supporting commentary from author Jonathan Herring.

Chapter

Cover Essential Cases: Criminal Law

R v Cheshire [1991] 1 WLR 844, Court of Appeal  

Essential Cases: Criminal Law provides a bridge between course textbooks and key case judgments. This case document summarizes the facts and decision in R v Cheshire [1991] 1 WLR 844, Court of Appeal. The document also included supporting commentary from author Jonathan Herring.

Chapter

Cover Essential Cases: Criminal Law

R v G and R [2003] UKHL 50, House of Lords  

Essential Cases: Criminal Law provides a bridge between course textbooks and key case judgments. This case document summarizes the facts and decision in R v G and R [2003] UKHL 50, House of Lords. The document also included supporting commentary from author Jonathan Herring.

Chapter

Cover Essential Cases: Criminal Law

R v Cheshire [1991] 1 WLR 844, Court of Appeal  

Essential Cases: Criminal Law provides a bridge between course textbooks and key case judgments. This case document summarizes the facts and decision in R v Cheshire [1991] 1 WLR 844, Court of Appeal. The document also included supporting commentary from author Jonathan Herring.

Chapter

Cover Concentrate Q&A Criminal Law

2. Fundamental Principles of Criminal Liability—Actus Reus and Mens Rea  

The Concentrate Questions and Answers series offers the best preparation for tackling exam questions. Each book includes typical questions, diagram answer plans, suggested answers, author commentary, and advice on study skills. This chapter presents sample exam questions on the elements of crime and suggested answers. The traditional starting point for the study of criminal law is the constituents of a criminal offence. These are the fundamental principles of criminal liability: actus reus (often referred to as the prohibited conduct, but more accurately described as the external elements of the offence) and mens rea (often referred to as the mental element, but more accurately described as the fault element). They include the distinction between acts and omissions, causation, and the different levels of fault (intention, recklessness and negligence).

Chapter

Cover Criminal Law

3. Mens Rea: The Mental Element  

Mens rea is the legal term used to describe the element of a criminal offence that relates to the defendant’s mental state. Different crimes have different mentes reae: some require intention, others recklessness, negligence, or knowledge. Some crimes do not require proof of any mental state of the defendant. It has often been suggested that mens rea plays the crucial role of ensuring that only blameworthy defendants are punished for their crimes; however, a defendant’s blameworthiness or state of mind is only part of the picture. This chapter considers the following concepts that are used throughout criminal law: (a) intention; (b) recklessness; (c) negligence; and (d) knowledge.

Chapter

Cover Smith, Hogan, and Ormerod's Criminal Law

14. Involuntary manslaughter  

David Ormerod and Karl Laird

This chapter explores involuntary manslaughter in its three forms: unlawful act manslaughter, gross negligence manslaughter and reckless manslaughter. Given the breadth of cases that involuntary manslaughter must cover, it is not surprising that more than one form of the offence has evolved, and that the elements of each form of involuntary manslaughter are distinct, particularly as to the fault required. The chapter examines recent developments, in particular those relating to gross negligence manslaughter and whether the offence is contrary to Art 7 of the European Convention on Human Rights. It concludes with a detailed assessment of the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007.

Chapter

Cover Smith, Hogan, and Ormerod's Criminal Law

3. The elements of a crime: mens rea  

David Ormerod and Karl Laird

This chapter examines the mens rea or mental fault of the accused. Because an actus reus is treated in law as a bad thing, an intention to cause it is, in law, a bad intention, a guilty mind. Similarly, consciously taking an unjustified risk of causing an actus reus—that is, recklessness—is also a bad state of mind. Unintentionally causing an actus reus by negligence may also be regarded as legally blameworthy. Each of these implies different degrees of ‘fault’. The chapter also discusses subjective and objective fault, intention in crimes other than murder, the distinction between motive and intention, subjective recklessness and malice, wilful blindness, suspicion and reasonable grounds to suspect, the correspondence principle and constructive crime, coincidence in time of actus reus and mens rea, ignorance of the law, absence of a ‘claim of right’ as an element in mens rea and proof of intention and foresight.

Chapter

Cover Concentrate Q&A Criminal Law

3. Murder and Manslaughter  

The Concentrate Questions and Answers series offers the best preparation for tackling exam questions. Each book includes typical questions, diagram answer plans, suggested answers, author commentary, and advice on study skills. This chapter presents sample exam questions on murder and manslaughter and suggested answers. The key issues of direct and oblique intent as it applies to murder are considered. The chapter also deals with the changes to the partial defences to murder (loss of control and diminished responsibility) brought about by the statutory provisions in the Coroners and Justice Act 2009, and the differences between the types of involuntary manslaughter (by an unlawful act, by gross negligence, and by recklessness).

Chapter

Cover Ashworth's Principles of Criminal Law

6. Criminal Capacity, Mens Rea, and Fault  

This chapter deals first with another fundamental requirement of a crime: criminal capacity. It is a precondition of criminal liability that the defendant is a person with sufficient capacity to be held responsible. This leads to an examination of infancy and insanity as barriers to criminal responsibility, and then to a consideration of special factors affecting corporate criminal liability. Second, this chapter considers fault requirements as an element of criminal offences. It explores some of the reasons for and against the criminal law requiring proof of fault in any form. It also considers principal varieties of fault requirement in the criminal law, such as intention and recklessness.

Chapter

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

3. Mens rea  

David Ormerod and John Child

This chapter provides an overview of mens rea, loosely translated as ‘guilty mind’. Whereas the concept of actus reus focuses on the external elements of an offence, mens rea focuses on state of mind or fault. The mens rea of the offence describes the fault element with which D acted: D intended, believed, foresaw as a risk the proscribed element(s), and so on. The chapter first considers how offences differ in the role mens rea plays. For some offences, a mens rea element may be required in relation to each actus reus element; for other offences there are actus reus elements that do not have a corresponding mens rea and vice versa. The chapter moves on to discuss the legal meaning of central mens rea terms such as ‘intention’, ‘negligence’, ‘dishonesty’, and ‘recklessness’. Finally, it outlines reform debates, and a structure for analysing the mens rea of an offence when applying the law in a problem-type question. Relevant cases are highlighted throughout the chapter.

Chapter

Cover Criminal Law

3. Mens rea  

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. Mens rea refers to the mental element necessary for a particular crime. This may differ from one crime to another and the definition of each crime must be examined to determine what state of mind is required. This chapter discusses the meaning of intention, knowledge, recklessness, wilfulness, direct intent, oblique intent, ulterior intent, transferred malice, and mistake. These mens rea topics raise important questions about the extent to which a person is responsible and therefore deserving of blame and punishment. A revised and updated ‘The law in context’ feature examines critically the debates between those who favour subjectivist and objectivist approaches to mens rea, with particular reference to reform of the offence of unlawful act manslaughter.

Chapter

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

3. Mens rea  

This chapter provides an overview of mens rea, loosely translated as ‘guilty mind’. Whereas the concept of actus reus focusses on the external elements of an offence, mens rea focusses on state of mind or fault. The mens rea of the offence describes the fault element with which D acted: D intended, believed, foresaw as a risk of the proscribed element; and so on. The chapter first considers how offences differ in the role mens rea plays. For some offences a mens rea element may be required in relation to each actus reus element; for other offences there are actus reus elements that do not have a corresponding mens rea and vice versa. The chapter moves on to discuss the legal meaning of central mens rea terms such as ‘intention’, ‘negligence’, ‘dishonesty’, and ‘recklessness’. Finally, it outlines reform debates, and a structure for analysing the mens rea of an offence when applying the law in a problem-type question. Relevant cases are highlighted throughout the chapter.

Chapter

Cover Cassese's International Criminal Law

3. The Elements of international crimes, in particular the mental element  

Antonio Cassese, Paola Gaeta, Laurel Baig, Mary Fan, Christopher Gosnell, and Alex Whiting

This chapter begins with a discussion of the two main features that characterize international crime. It then explains the objective structure of international crime, which divides these crimes into conduct; consequences; and circumstances. This is followed by discussions of the mental element of international criminal law; intent; special intent (dolus specialis) recklessness or indirect intent, knowledge, culpable or gross negligence, the mental element in the International Criminal Court Statute, and judicial determination of the mental element.

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

8. Homicide II  

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. An unlawful homicide committed without the mens rea for murder is involuntary manslaughter. This chapter discusses the three classes of involuntary manslaughter: reckless manslaughter; unlawful act manslaughter; and gross negligence manslaughter. Both unlawful act manslaughter and gross negligence are notable for the low level of mens rea required. Indeed, with gross negligence manslaughter the defendant may not even have foreseen the risk of death and yet may still be convicted of manslaughter.

Chapter

Cover Criminal Law Directions

3. Mens rea  

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.

Chapter

Cover Criminal Law Directions

6. Involuntary manslaughter  

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 explores the main types of involuntary manslaughter: unlawful act manslaughter, gross negligence manslaughter, and reckless manslaughter, as well as the offence of corporate manslaughter. Unlawful act manslaughter arises where the defendant intentionally commits an unlawful act which a reasonable person would recognise exposes the victim to the risk of some harm and the victim dies as a result. Gross negligence manslaughter arises where the defendant causes the death of the victim through the breach of a duty of care owed to that victim.

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.