Mens Rea

Molly Hope
Flashcards by Molly Hope, updated more than 1 year ago
Molly Hope
Created by Molly Hope about 5 years ago


Mens rea

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Question Answer
What is mens rea? The mental element of a crime which forms part of criminal liability.
Hierarchy of mens rea? Direct intent being the most serious, oblique intent and then recklessness.
What is direct intent? First established in R V Mohan, which says it's "the decision to bring about a prohibited consequence".
What is oblique intent? Where the aim of the defendant is different to the outcome. Using the virtual certainty test as established in R v Woollin.
What is recklessness? Where the defendant realises that there is a risk, but takes that risk anyway. As seen in the case of R V Cuuningham.
What is transferred malice? Where the defendant intended to commit a similar offence against one person but instead commits it against another. E.g. Lattimer and Pembilton.
What is strict liability? Where the defendant is guilty of an offence simply by commiting the actus reus. There is no need for the mens rea. E.g. Harrow London borough council V Shah and Sweet v Parsley
Advantages of strict liability? - promotes public safety e.g. R v Blake - health and safety regulations e.g. Callow v Tillstone. - saves courts time - easier to enforce
What is the coincidence rule? A continuing act. Where the actus reus and mens rea aren't commited at the same time. E.g. Fagan v Metropolitan Police station, Church and Thabo Meli.
Disadvantages of strict liability? - statutes can be confusing - the crime is one social concern - wording of the act indicates strict liability - dangerous animals
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