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Smith, Hogan, & Ormerod's Criminal Law

Smith, Hogan, & Ormerod's Criminal Law (15th edn)

David Ormerod and Karl Laird
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date: 30 September 2022

p. 1334. Crimes of negligencelocked

p. 1334. Crimes of negligencelocked

  • David OrmerodDavid OrmerodLaw Commissioner for England and Wales, Professor of Criminal Justice, University College London, Barrister, Bencher of Middle Temple, Door Tenant at 18 Red Lion Chambers
  •  and Karl LairdKarl LairdFixed-term Fellow and Tutor in Law, St Hilda’s College, Oxford


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.

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