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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.

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25. Liability of corporations  

This chapter discusses the ways in which organizations and their members might be held liable in criminal law. It covers personal liability of individuals within an organization; vicarious liability; corporate liability: by breaching a statutory duty imposed on the organization, by committing strict liability offences, by being liable for the acts of individuals under the identification doctrine, and the specific statutory liability of organizations for homicide under the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007; and liability of unincorporated associations.

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Cover Criminal Law Concentrate

10. Participation  

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 liability of parties who participate in the criminal acts of others. Liability can be split into four parts: those who are accessories, those who are joint perpetrators, those who are vicariously liable, and those who are corporations. Accessories are those who aid, abet, counsel, or procure the commission of the principal offence. Participants who enter a joint venture (also known as a joint unlawful enterprise) are liable for the crimes committed as part of that venture, unless one of the parties deliberately departs from the agreed plan. The doctrine of vicarious liability has a (limited) role in the criminal law. A corporation is a legal person, so criminal liability can be imposed on a corporation for many (although not all) crimes.

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7. Parties to crime  

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 accomplices, vicarious liability, joint enterprise liability, and corporate liability. All the parties to a crime are accomplices. The person who perpetrates the crime is the principal. Others, not being principals, who participate in the commission of an offence are referred to as accessories or secondary parties and will be liable to conviction if it is proved that they aided, abetted, counselled, or procured the commission of the crime by the principal. Vicarious liability is a form of strict liability arising from the employer–employee relationship, without reference to any fault of the employer. A corporation is a legal person and therefore may be criminally liable, even though it has no physical existence and cannot act or think except through its directors or employees.

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8. Corporate and vicarious liability  

David Ormerod and Karl Laird

This chapter focuses on the potential criminal liability of organizations, particularly corporations. Corporations have a separate legal identity and are treated in law as having a legal personality distinct from the people who make up the corporation. Therefore, in theory at least, criminal liability may be imposed on the corporation separately from any liability imposed on the individual members. There are currently six ways in which a corporation or its directors may be prosecuted: personal liability of corporate directors, etc; strict liability offences; statutory offences imposing duties on corporations; vicarious liability; the identification doctrine; and statutory liability of corporate officers. The chapter also discusses the limits of corporate liability, the distinction between vicarious liability and personal duty, the application of vicarious liability, the delegation principle and the ‘attributed act’ principle. The chapter examines the failure to prevent offences found in the Bribery Act 2010 and the Criminal Finances Act 2017.

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31. Offences against public order (additional chapter)  

David Ormerod and Karl Laird

The Public Order Act 1986 is the principal source of public order offences. These are riot, violent disorder and affray, along with inducing fear of violence and behaviour likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress. Some of the offences in the 1986 Act may be committed in private, but their public order foundations are paramount and these offences should not be treated as merely additional offences against the person. This chapter deals with offences against public order. It also considers harassment, alarm or distress, racially aggravated public order offences and acts intended or likely to incite racial or religious hatred and hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation. The chapter concludes by looking at public nuisance and vicarious liability.