Strict Liability Flashcards, Law

Flashcards by beccytay10r, updated more than 1 year ago
Created by beccytay10r about 6 years ago


Law Flashcards on Strict Liability Flashcards, Law, created by beccytay10r on 03/08/2015.

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Question Answer
What is meant by crimes of Strict Liability? Mens Rea/Negligence doesn't have to be proven re. one or more elements of the Actus Reus. The actus reus must be committed voluntary (must be proven beyond reasonable doubt) Mistake is not a defence. Causing the consequence is enough to convict (CALLOW v TILLSTONE)
Describe the case of CALLOW v TILLSTONE re. strict liability crimes: D asked a vet to examine a carcass to see if it was fit to eat. The vet said it was, so the D sold the meat. The vet had been negligent, the meat was not fit. D was convicted of exposing unsound meat for sale, even though he took action to avoid committing the offence by asking the vet
How can the imposition of strict liability be justified? Parliament/courts sometimes convict without proof of a guilty mind, if there is a greater benefit from doing so. Usually strict liability offences are less serious, regulatory offences involving road safety, pollution, food hygiene ect
What is a crime of absolute liability? In Absolute Liability cases, the D can not avoid liability, even if his conduct was involuntary (WINZAR)
What is the difference between crimes of Strict Liability and Absolute Liability? In strict liability cases prosecution must prove the D committed the actus reus, if the D acted involuntarily, the actus reus is not satisfied. For absolute liability, even if the D acted involuntarily he will still be liable (WINZAR)
What are some common law strict liability offences? Strict liability is very rare in common law offences. Some examples are public nuisance, criminal libel, and blasphemous libel (LEMON). Criminal contempt of court was common law but is now a statutory strict liability offence
How can the courts tell if an statutory offence is of strict liability? Where it is unclear whether a statutory offence is one of strict liability, the courts normally will need the prosecution to prove mens rea, unless the statute clearly expresses Parliament intended otherwise
What is the presumption in law re. mens rea in strict liability cases? There is a presumption that mens rea is required before a person can be criminally liable (SWEET v PARSLEY)
Describe the case of SWEET v PARSLEY re. the presumption of mens rea in strict liability cases: D (teacher) rented house to students, who without her knowledge smoked weed. D was convicted of being concerned in the management of premises. The HOL held knowledge of the weed was needed for the D to be guilty. Courts try to avoid interpreting offences as strict liability
Describe B v DPP, the most significant ruling on the application since SWEET v PARSLEY: B asked a 13 year old persistently to perform oral sex on him. He claimed he thought she was older. HOL quashed conviction - first time court held mens rea is needed in offences relating to sexual offences and age
What are the tests in the GAMMON TEST to see if a crime's mens rea can be rebutted or displaced so the crime can be seen as strict liability? Words/absence of words in a statute If it's a 'Quasi' crime Social danger Promotion of high standards/observation of the law Punishment severity
Describe the process of Looking at wording of an act as part of the GAMMON test re. strict liability crimes: Words that indicate MR e.g. intentionally, maliciously, indicates the crime is not SL It's not always clear what words make a crime SL (SHEPPARD v SHEPPARD). If sections of the act suggests MR then the offence is probably strict SL (STORKWAIN)
Describe the case of SHEPPARD AND SHEPPARD re. looking at the words of the act from the GAMMON TEST: The D's didn't know their baby was ill enough to send to the doctor. They were not acting with Mens Rea - the statute uses the word 'wilfully' - so the offence is not a strict liability crime
Describe the case of STORKWAIN re. looking at the words of the act from the GAMMON TEST: The crime of forging doctors prescriptions to get medicine is a crime of strict liability. The words in other parts of the act helped the HOL decide the crime was strict liability, even though the wording of the actual offence didn't refer to MR
What is a Quasi Crime? A quasi crime involve a technical breach of the law, but no real disgrace is attached (HARROW v SHAH AND SHAH). Truly criminal offences can be described as immoral e.g. rape, murder, assault, theft
Describe HARROW LBC v SHAH AND SHAH re. quasi crimes and social danger in strict liability crimes: D sold a boy a lottery ticket who was secretly under 16. The divisional court held the offence was 'plainly' not truly criminal and thus a crime of strict liability. Technical breach of the law but not immoral. Important for public that minors should not buy age restricted products
Describe strict liability offences re. food safety breaches and causing pollution: These offences are not considered truly criminal and are likely to be considered strict liability offences. They are offences for public safety, and the D's own safety. Such people are not regarded as 'criminal'
Describe the degree of social danger as a factor affecting strict liability according to the GAMMON TEST: The more the social danger, the more likely MR can be rebutted and strict liability can be imposed (ALPHACELL LTD v WOODWARD) (HARROW LBC v SHAH)
Describe ALPHACELL v WOODWARD in relation to the GAMMON TEST when deciding the degree of social danger and strict liability: RE. polluting matter to enter a river. The court held that it was the upmost importance to the public that rivers should not be polluted
Describe the Promotion of higher standards and/or observance of the law as part of the GAMMON TEST re. strict liability crimes: Strict liability crimes are there to encourage people to follow the law for safety and the publics best interest. If it does not do so then the crime is probably not strict liability
Describe the Severity of the punishment as part of the GAMMON TEST when deciding whether a crime is strict liability: The courts approach has no real consistency. A low max. penalty punishment suggests the offence is not truly criminal, so strict liability. A high max. punishment suggests grave social danger so MR must be proven
What is the name of the defences that can be used for strict liability cases? Due Diligence Defences No - Negligence Defences D argues they took all steps needed to ensure the consequence didn't happen, or it happened due to an act/default of a 3rd party (seen in TESCO v NATTRASS)
Describe the case of TESCO v NATTRASS re. Due Diligence Defences relating to strict liability offences: Tesco used this defence. Washing powder was advertised at being 14p, when the actual price was 19p. Tesco blamed the store manager for not checking the shelves properly. The Due Diligence defence worked
Do Due Diligence offences work for every strict liability offence? There's no common law in the UK that means that the due diligence defence can be applied to every strict liability offences in England and Wales (unlike in Canada and Australia)
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