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Chapter

Cover Complete Criminal Law

3. Mens rea: blameworthy states of mind  

This chapter focuses on mens rea (MR) and discusses some of the components of MR, which include intention, recklessness, negligence, and gross negligence. It explains that intention can be direct or oblique and that recklessness may be defined as the conscious taking of an unjustified risk. It also explains how to distinguish between negligence and gross negligence. The chapter examines the concept of strict liability in the context of criminal law and discusses the implications of strict liability for actus reus and MR, evaluating arguments for and against strict liability, and considering the treatment of strict liability under the European Convention.

Book

Cover Smith, Hogan, and Ormerod's Criminal Law

David Ormerod CBE, QC (Hon) and Karl Laird

This book, in its 16th edition, has been completely updated to include all legislative and case law developments and detailed analysis of the many recent developments since the last edition. The material on dishonesty has been rewritten to take account of developments following the Supreme Court’s decision in Ivey v Genting Casinos. The book begins with an introduction of definitions of crime and an explanation of the sources of criminal law followed by detailed analysis of the elements of a crime (actus reus and mens rea) including negligence and strict liability. Secondary liability is examined with an emphasis on analysing the Supreme Court’s judgment in Jogee, before exploring corporate and vicarious liability. Mental condition defences and the Law Commission’s proposals to reform them are examined alongside issues relating to mistake and intoxication. A comprehensive review of general defences includes the Court of Appeal’s controversial approach to self-defence in householder cases. The final chapter of the general part provides a detailed review of inchoate offences. The second part of the book examines specific offences including murder, manslaughter, other homicide offences, non-fatal offences, sexual offences, theft and robbery, and considers the Fraud Act 2006, burglary, offences of damages to property, offences against public order and road traffic offences.

Book

Cover Criminal Law

Michael Allen and Ian Edwards

Course-focused and comprehensive, the Textbook on series provides an accessible overview of the key areas on the law curriculum. Textbook on Criminal Law has been providing students of criminal law with a readable and reliable introduction to the subject for the past 30 years. This is the sixteenth edition, which has been updated to include all of the latest case law and statutory changes. Topics covered include actus reus, mens rea, negligence and strict liability, and capacity and incapacitating conditions. It also examines general defences, parties to crime, inchoate offences, and homicide. Towards the end of the book chapters consider non-fatal offences, sexual offences, offences under the Theft Acts 1968 and 1978, fraud, and criminal damage.

Chapter

Cover Smith, Hogan, and Ormerod's Criminal Law

4. Crimes of negligence  

David Ormerod and Karl Laird

Negligence refers to conduct that does not conform to what would be expected of a reasonable person. Along with intention and recklessness, negligence involves a failure to comply with an objective standard of conduct; that is, all of them are forms of fault. To prove negligence, the prosecution is not required to show that the accused failed to foresee a relevant risk; it only has to establish that his conduct failed to comply with a reasonable standard. A person is negligent if he is not able to comply with an objective standard of behaviour set by the law. This chapter deals with crimes of negligence and negligence as mens rea, negligence as the basis of liability, degrees of negligence, negligence as a form of culpable fault, and negligence and capacity.

Chapter

Cover Criminal Law

4. Negligence and strict liability  

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. This chapter discusses the meaning of negligence, arguments for and against negligence as a basis for criminal liability, the meaning of strict liability, the origins of and justifications for strict liability, the presumption of mens rea in offences of strict liability, defences to strict liability, and strict liability and the European Convention on Human Rights. The feaeture ‘The law in context’ examines critically the use of strict liability as the basis for liability in the offence of paying for the sexual services of a person who has been subject to exploitation.

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 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 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 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.