1-5 of 5 Results  for:

  • Keyword: common law x
Clear all

Chapter

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

20. Conspiracy  

This chapter examines the ways in which criminal law treats conspiracies. Some of the controversies examined include: whether it is necessary and/or desirable to criminalize conspiracies; the extent to which there can be a conspiracy under the Criminal Law Act 1977 if the parties have only agreed to commit the substantive offence subject to some condition; what must be agreed and who must intend what to happen for a crime of conspiracy; the mens rea of statutory conspiracies; and whether common law conspiracies are so vague as to infringe the rule of law.

Chapter

Cover Smith, Hogan, and Ormerod's Criminal Law

1. An introduction to the criminal law  

David Ormerod and Karl Laird

It is neither easy to define crime nor identify the aims of criminal law but some characteristics may be universal to every crime, including that it involves public wrongs and moral wrongs. ‘Public wrongs’ reflect the important role of the public in punishing crimes. A crime incorporating a moral wrong implies that a ‘wrong’ is done or harm to others is involved but experience suggests that morality and criminal law are not coextensive. The chapter introduces students to thinking about criminalization and the need to guard against overcriminalization. It also examines the principal sources of criminal law: common law, statute, EU law, international law and the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). Problematically, important and serious offences and most defences in English law derive from common law rather than statute, and some offences—from public nuisance to gross negligence manslaughter—have been challenged recently on grounds of certainty and retrospectivity.

Chapter

Cover Criminal Law

4. Strict Liability  

A strict liability offence is one where it is not necessary to prove any mental state of the defendant. All that needs to be shown is that the defendant caused a particular result or carried out a particular act. The courts will only interpret the offence to be one of strict liability where Parliament has made it quite clear that there is no mens rea requirement for the offence. There are some offences which just require proof that the defendant possessed a prohibited item. This chapter discusses the offences that are strict liability; when a court will not presume mens rea; what mens rea will be presumed; the Human Rights Act 1998 and strict liability offences; common law defences and strict liability offences; possession offences; and the arguments for and against strict liability.

Chapter

Cover Smith, Hogan, and Ormerod's Criminal Law

5. Crimes of strict liability  

David Ormerod and Karl Laird

Offences of strict liability are those crimes that do not require mens rea or even negligence as to one or more elements in the actus reus. Where an offence is interpreted to be one of strict liability, the accused will be criminally liable even if he could not have avoided the prescribed harm despite attempting to do so. Where someone is accused of strict liability, it is not necessary for the prosecution to tender evidence of mens rea as to the matter of strict liability. This chapter discusses strict liability and its distinction from ‘absolute’ liability, crimes of strict liability in common law and statutes, strict liability and the presumption of innocence, the presumption of mens rea, the severity of punishment for strict liability, arguments for and against strict liability, the imposition of liability for negligence and statutory due diligence defences.

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.