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AS and A Level: Criminal Law

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  • Marked by Teachers essays 15
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  1. Marked by a teacher

    Rules of Causation Case. Jess throws paint in Sams eyes. Sam had to go to hospital to have paint removed from his eyes. On the way home, just before his sight was fully recovered, he tripped on the kerb and fractured his skull.

    5 star(s)

    There are two types of causation, factual causation, the defendant can only be guilty if the consequences would not have happened but for this act. An example of this is, R v Pagett, the defendant used his girlfriend as a human shield against police fire. He shot at the police, they fired back, killing his girlfriend. But for his actions she wouldn't have died. This relates to the scenario because but for Jess throwing paint in Sam's eyes, he would not have been partly sighted and tripped on the kerb resulting in a fractured skull.

    • Word count: 664
  2. Marked by a teacher

    English law does not normally impose liability for an omission or failure to act despite the fact that there may be compelling moral justifications for doing so. For example, the courts have often explained that there is no legal duty upon a stranger to rescue a drowning child. Consider whether the current legal principles governing omissions are satisfactory (50 marks)

    4 star(s)

    This could be solved by putting in a ?good Samaritan? law such as is in place in the Netherlands or France. There are 6 categories of omission where a person owes a duty to act for another person; the first of these is Duty under a contract. When a contract of employment states that a person is under a legal duty to do a certain thing in a certain situation, a failure to do that thing may result in criminal liability.

    • Word count: 2121
  3. Marked by a teacher

    OCR Feb 10 Exam Paper Non-Fatal Offences Problem Case. The scenario states that Colin ran towards Sarah waving a knife. The actions by Colin caused Sarah to scream.

    4 star(s)

    The fact that Sarah screamed after seeing Colin running towards her illustrates she feared of action imminently. The Mens Rea for Assault is 'intention or recklessness to cause another to fear immediate unlawful force'. By referring to the definition set out in Smith, Richard waving the knife around, coupled with him heading towards Sarah, clearly shows that he was reckless as to make Sarah fear imminent unlawful force. Colin is therefore guilty of committing the Common Law offence of assault, and can be sentenced up to six months imprisonment in a Magistrates' court. The scenario states that Colin grabbed Sarah's coat.

    • Word count: 964
  4. Marked by a teacher

    Is the current law on the non-fatal offences against the person satisfactory?

    4 star(s)

    Assault and battery were originally common law offences that were codified by the Criminal Justice Act 1988. Many of the important points of law surrounding the non-fatal offences have been established through judges' decisions and statutory interpretation rather than being clearly defined within the Acts themselves. In 1993, the Law Commission reported on the existing legislation, and made three specific criticisms: the language is complicated, obscure and old-fashioned, the current law has a technical structure and it is completely unintelligible to the layman.

    • Word count: 1698
  5. Marked by a teacher

    Murder - Notes and Evaluation.

    4 star(s)

    Road Traffic Act 1972, Voluntary undertaking, Employment duties and Accidental act which creates a dangerious situation. It is very unusual for a charge of murder to be based upon an ommission. 2.) Which is unlawful The act or omission that causes the victims death must be unlawful. It is not unlawful if what is done is in self-defence, or in the prevention or crime and the defendent used reasonable force. 3.) Which substantially causes the death of the victim The prosecution must show that the defendants conduct was the factual cause of the consequence and the legal cause of the consequence.

    • Word count: 1392
  6. Marked by a teacher

    With close reference to the cases of Shaw v DPP and Knuller v DPP , Show how the law relates to morals and religion.

    3 star(s)

    With regards to this, in the case of Shaw v DPP (1962), Lord Diplock said ?Shaw?s act of publishing advertisements for prostitutes soliciting fornication tended to corrupt public morals. Therefore Shaw?s agreement to do that act was a crime at common law?. The Court of Appeal upheld a conviction against Shaw on the charge of ?conspiracy to corrupt public morals?. Similarly, in the case Knuller v DPP (1972) , the House of Lords held that while the offence of ?conspiracy to outrage public decency? was unknown to the law, the Appellants by their actions were nevertheless guilty of behaviour that could be deemed an offence known to English law, that is, ?conspiracy to corrupt public morals?.

    • Word count: 975
  7. Marked by a teacher

    Discuss whether the rules governing insanity as a defence in criminal law are in a satisfactory state or are in need of reform.

    3 star(s)

    If there is an unsuccessful claim of insanity then the defendant may be found guilty and therefore go to prison etc, or he may be fully acquitted. Whether the defendant can be classed as insane and win an appeal depends on the 4 rules set out by the M?Naghton test. M?Naghton was a man who was mentally unstable and in 1943 killed the prime ministers secretary instead of the prime minister after suffering from a condition known as severe paranoia which clouded his judgement.

    • Word count: 1383
  8. Marked by a teacher

    How effective was the defence of intoxication?

    3 star(s)

    This rule comes from the case DPP v Beard. D had been charge with murder and pleaded intoxication to deny malice aforethought. From this case it is now accepted that D need not be incapable of forming intent; it is sufficient if they do not in fact do so. However, D may be very drunk and yet still form the required mens rea. In Sheehan & Moore (1975) it was held that because they did not have the mens rea for murder, their intoxication was a defence to that offence.

    • Word count: 1624
  9. Marked by a teacher

    Briefly explain the meaning of, and reasons for, strict liability as a criminal offence

    3 star(s)

    The type of court would depend on the fine limit; i.e. the Magistrates court would fine up to �5000, however, the Crown court do not have a maximum penalty, but in severe cases, it could lead to imprisonment. The case of Gommon (Hong Kong) LTD V Attorney General for Hong Kong was a House of Lords case. Lord Garmon sets out the criteria for strict liability offences. The first presumption being that the mens rea must be required before a person can be found guilty of a criminal offence.

    • Word count: 922
  10. Marked by a teacher

    Law should encourage citizens in their civic duty to do 'the right thing' in a moral sense and not to turn a blind eye or to fail to act to help someone who is in need. Consider to what extent the criminal law relating to omissions (failures to act)

    3 star(s)

    Therefore the defendant could be prosecuted for not carrying out the duty made by this act. Another exception to the rule of omissions is if the person has a contractual duty, and fails to carry out their responsibilities in their contract. This happened in the case of R V Pittwood 1902 where the defendant was a railway-crossing keeper who failed to shut the gates when a train was approaching which resulted in the death of someone who was crossing the railway.

    • Word count: 1078
  11. Marked by a teacher

    Reform of the law on murder.The law commission say it is rickety structure set on shaky foundations and is in dire need of reform. The whole offence as an overview is complex, unclear, uncertain and unfair.

    3 star(s)

    However, for death there is no legal definition, only a medical one of "brain stem" death Malcherek and steel. It doesn't seem to make sense that there is a legal definition for life but not for death, there should be a legal definition for both. In regards to "unlawful killing", this is an issue of causation. There are different opinions on the way self neglect such as in the case Dear should be used in law. One side states that you have a right to refuse medical treatment and the other that the defendant should take responsibility for his own actions as stated with the De Minimis principle and "but for" tests.

    • Word count: 1196
  12. Marked by a teacher

    Actus reus

    3 star(s)

    The duty is owed to anyone who may be affected, not just the parties to the contract. This was demonstrated in Pittwood, where D's argument was rejected as his duty was owed to the railway company as well as to those who were affected. Duty of care can also arise out of relationship; this was shown in Gibbons and Proctor. The father owed V duty of care as he was related to her; however his lover, P, was not related to V but was liable because P had voluntarily undertaken a duty.

    • Word count: 869
  13. Marked by a teacher

    police powers

    3 star(s)

    You don't have to give your name, address or date of birth to the police if you're stopped and searched unless you're being arrested. They can arrest anyone who is about to commit and offence, who is in the act of committing an offence, or whom he has reasonable ground of suspecting to be committing an offence. If you have been arrested, because you were caught committing an offence; or there is a warrant for your arrest, you will then be taken to a police station.

    • Word count: 867
  14. Marked by a teacher

    Voluntary Manslaghter - Notes and Evaluation.

    3 star(s)

    This means that there must not be any evidence that the defendant was planning, acting in revenge or had clearly cooled down. This usually means that the longer the time lapse between the provocation and the killing, the less likely it is that the defence will succeed (Ibrams and Gregory 1981). However, the fact that the defendant had time to cool down is not fatal to the defence, provided that when he did retaliate he was out of control (Baillie 1995).

    • Word count: 1948
  15. Marked by a teacher

    Critical evaluation of murder for A2 law unit 4

    3 star(s)

    The law on murder is considered to be quite old, as the definition used for it was by Lord Justice Coke in the 16th century, which is still used today. This shows that the law on murder has remain consist over the centuries, and the same principles remain the same today as they did back in the 16th century. However, a lot of things occur in the world today that they didn't occur 500 years ago, which arent covered in the law as they didn't occur back then.

    • Word count: 2528
  16. Human Trafficking In Australia. This essay will be covering different aspect of human trafficking and slavery in ways of legal and non-legal response. It will also be responding on how effective the legal system is in regards of human trafficking on the

    1833". This law was to enforce the ban of slavery. Although there were kinks in the chain, with the law not being fully enforced, but it was the first of its kind and was a good first movement to abolish slavery and human trafficking. One of the many laws created to enforce the ban on Slavery and Human Trafficking was the "Conventions to suppress the slave Trade and Slavery (1926) (League of Nations). This was the first international law that defined slavery and the slave trade, and required signatory governments to abolish slavery.

    • Word count: 2011
  17. Murder and Voluntary manslaughter - analysis of cases and the plea of involuntary manslaughter.

    The rules are applied to decide whether the defendants guilty act caused the required consequence in the definition of a particular crime Factual causation: the defendant can only be found guilty if the consequence would not have happened 'but for' his act. This was seen in the case of White 1910. Legal Facts: Defendant put cyanide into his mother's lemonade drink, but she died of heart failure before the poison could kill her. The answer to the question 'But for what the defendant did would she have died?'

    • Word count: 1140
  18. Property Offences, Corporate Manslaughter and Police Powers of Search and Entry.

    D lied to V by a false representation that he was the owner of the car and he entitled to sell it. Laverty, R v (1970) 3: Obtaining services by deception This is included in the Fraud Act 2006 it tells us that if you obtain services with the wrong information then the person who is blameworthy they would have to pay a fine or they could possibly be jailed. The Actus Reus for deception is that a company orders a service but the service is not available to them.

    • Word count: 3000
  19. The law relating to the defence of insanity is out dated and unsatisfactory. Reform is long overdue in the interests of both justice and common sense. Evaluate the accuracy of this statement.

    The nature and quality of the act he was doing, or if he did know it then b. that he did not know what he was doing was wrong in law. The main point of critique here is that these laws were created in 1843, that is 168 years ago! For a legal definition of any form to not be updated in that length of time is astonishing, but especially where mental health is concerned given the immense medical advances and breakthroughs that have occurred in this field in the last 20 years, never mind the last 168 years! A more modern definition is needed to accommodate these advances not only in medical science, but in English language.

    • Word count: 1433
  20. AQA Law 2007 Problem Question - Graham (Part (b))

    Property belongs to "anyone in possession or control of it or having in it any proprietary right or interest". The mens rea of theft is dishonesty and an intention to permanently deprive. Section 2 provides a "negative definition" of dishonesty, and describes three situations in which the accused will not be dishonest; these are a belief in a legal right to deprive (Holden), belief that the owner would have consented and belief that the owner cannot be discovered through taking reasonable steps (Small).

    • Word count: 1043
  21. Causation. To establish causation it is necessary to firstly ask if the defendant in fact caused of the specified consequence of the offence.

    The defendant took his pregnant girlfriend from her home by force. He then held the girl hostage. The Police then called on him to surrender. The defendant came out holding the girl in front of him and firing at the police who subsequently returned fire and the girl was killed by police bullets. The defendant was convicted of manslaughter. To establish causation it is necessary to firstly ask if the defendant in fact caused of the specified consequence of the offence.

    • Word count: 665
  22. The rules and principles of causation not only provide fair practical solutions to the problems of criminal liability but also are founded on sound moral principles. Discuss this statement.

    In this case the defendant put cyanide in his mother's drink, but she died before drinking it due to a heart attack. so the defendants actions were deemed as not the factual cause of his mother's death. The 'but for' test complies with the moral principles of society as we would not deem a person a criminal if they have not caused the consequence, as there is no connection between the defendant and the consequence. Once a defendant has been proved to be the factual cause, the court must then establish whether the defendant's actions were the legal cause.

    • Word count: 1165
  23. Causation is where a consequence must be proved, the prosecution has to show that the defendants conduct was the factual cause of that consequence and it was the legal cause of that consequence

    Legal cause may be more than one act contributing to the consequence. The rule is that the defendant can be guilty if his conduct was more than a 'minimal' cause of the consequence. But the defendants conduct need not be a substantial cause. In Kimsey (1996), D in a high-speed car chase with a friend. She lost control of the car and the other driver was killed in the crash. D's driving did not have to be the substantial cause of the death, as long as you were sure it was a cause and the conviction was upheld.

    • Word count: 951
  24. Illustrate the ways in which different sentences may be used to support different aims of sentencing.

    Custodial sentences also play a big part in both deterring the person from committing the crime again and also deterring other people from committing the crime, as they see that the person who got caught for this offence has been given a custodial offence, whereas if the person only got given a non custodial sentence then they may not be put off as much. Custodial sentences also play a part in keeping the public safe and happy, for example the public would want to see a rapist or someone charged with grievous bodily harm kept off of the streets and locked up in a prison for a lengthy amount of time.

    • Word count: 931
  25. Different types of ADR

    All information gathered in the conciliation process is kept confidential and is not made available to court proceedings. Arbitration is a private process by which an independant preson called an Arbitrator resolves the disbute by making a decision that binds the parties. Arbitrators are often specialists in their field. Generally both sides have to accept an Arbitrator. Arbitrations may have a longer waiting list that legal trials. Arbitration is a consensual process; a party cannot be forced to arbitrate a dispute unless he agrees to do so.

    • Word count: 857

Conclusion analysis

Good conclusions usually refer back to the question or title and address it directly - for example by using key words from the title.
How well do you think these conclusions address the title or question? Answering these questions should help you find out.

  1. Do they use key words from the title or question?
  2. Do they answer the question directly?
  3. Can you work out the question or title just by reading the conclusion?
  • Critically evaluate the law on intention as part of mens rea

    "In conclusion when looking at the law of intent as a part of mens rea it is important to distinguish between oblique intent and direct intent. Whilst direct intent is fairly straight forward, however this is not the case in oblique intent. When looking at oblique intent, as was made clear in Woolin, the defendant's knowledge is an important factor."

  • The law on attempts has now been settled Discuss

    "In conclusion I think that the law on attempts has now been settled as the courts now have guidance on when to convict for any crime. The Court of Appeal have settled attempted murder alleges and also the relevance of recklessness has been settled. However, despite all this guidance, some cases have still been wrongly decided. This was seen in the appeal of Attorney - General's reference (No 1 of 1992), where Court of Appeal held the D was only in short of committing the offence itself."

  • Critically discuss the Labour Governments record of crime control since coming to power in 1997

    "In conclusion, it can be seen that under the Labour Government since 1997, crime seems to have decreased by using the more reliable BCS figures. However, the public perception is that crime has gone up a lot, and one must question why this is, and whether the Labour government are trying to create this impression in order to support their position of being ‘tough on crime’"

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