• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Critically consider how the courts have applied the meaning of the term dishonesty in theft and related offences.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

A2 LAW - THEFT Critically consider how the courts have applied the meaning of the term dishonesty in theft and related offences. Theft is an offence under section 1 of the Theft Act 1968. The Act states "A person is guilty of theft if he dishonestly appropriates property belonging to another with the intention of permanently depriving that other from it..." Section 2 of the Theft Act gives three situations in which appropriation of property is not to be regarded as dishonest; they are as follows. Firstly, where the person believes that he has in law the right to deprive the other of it. Secondly, where the person believes that he would have the other's consent if the other knew of the appropriation and the circumstances of it. Thirdly, where the person believes that taking reasonable steps cannot discover the owner of the property. Section 2 of the Act states that a person's appropriation of property belonging to another may be dishonest even though he was willing to pay for the property. ...read more.

Middle

This gave a two-stage test to be applied. Was what was done dishonest according to the standards of honest and reasonable people? If so, did the defendant (D) realise that what he was doing was dishonest by those standards? This is left to the jury in each case to decide. For the actus reus of theft, it has to be proved that there was an appropriation of property, which belonged to another, in order to establish liability. The mens rea of theft are dishonesty and intention to permanently deprive another. In McIvor (1982) the Court of Appeal (CoA) sought to reconcile the differences between the subjective and objective tests for dishonesty. It decided that a subjective approach should be taken where the charge was conspiracy to defraud, but that the question of dishonesty in theft should be decided objectively. As this was later rejected by the CoA itself in Ghosh (1982), it shows that the courts themselves are not clear as to what the tests for dishonesty should be. ...read more.

Conclusion

Or even those who believe that ordinary people would regard them as morally justified in their actions? In Small (1988) the defendant claimed that a car he had appropriated had been abandoned by its owner. It had been left in one place for over a week with the keys in the ignition. The jury did not believe his story but his conviction was quashed by the CoA because he had honestly believed that this was the case. It is theft if property is merely removed for spite and is destroyed or thrown away. The uncertainties and loopholes in this area of law could be resolved if a statutory definition of dishonesty is given. In the case of Salvo (1980), the judge felt that it was not always the case that a citizen 'knows dishonesty if he sees it', and that further help was needed in some cases. At present, however, Ghosh does not represent the law on the subject until there is an intervention by either the House of Lords (HoL) or Parliament. Kikelomo Akinyosoye Terry Sweeney-YPA ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Law section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Law essays

  1. Criminal Law (Offences against the person) - revision notes

    direction on the level of probability New Direction - Nedrick direction "In diffivcult and exceptional cases the jury should be given the following: - "Where death or GBH is not the defendants aim or wish the jury may INFUR intention if they decide that death or GBH was a virtual certainty and the defendant foreseen this was the case."

  2. Human Resource Management at IKEA and Currys.

    Induction If successful at this stage, the candidate is put through minor exercisers and an insight to the company as a member of staff. Interviewing Interviewing is universally popular as a selection tool. Interviews describe as 'a diversity of practice', but this broad definition encompasses a wide diversity of practice.

  1. The Law Relating to Negotiable Instruments

    deposits of money from the public merely for the purpose of financing his business, the business will not be called the banking business. Another special feature of banking business is that the deposited money should be repaid to the depositor on demand or according to the agreement.

  2. The Inchoate (Incomplete) Offences - Essay Notes

    The fact that the company's advertisement did point out that o do so would be an offence did not prevent liability being incurred. - R v GOLDMAN (2001) - D had seen an advertisement in a magazine for the sale of pornographic videos of children.

  1. Using actual situations describe the elements of actus

    If it is guilty, the sentence is passed by the judge. In all cases where the judge is considering the possibility of imprisonment, except where the case is so serious that any other sentence is out of the question, a presentence report must be obtained.

  2. Justices of the Peace - Magistrates Courts

    may bring greater wisdom, and offenders might be reluctant to accept the judgement of magistrates younger than themselves - but it confirms the stereotype of magistrates as middle-aged or elderly. A survey in 1987 showed that only 2 per cent of magistrates were black, compared with 4 per cent of

  1. Irish cases which discuss the meaning of intention

    Lord Hailsham adopted the definition of intention laid down by Asquith L.J. in the civil case of Cunliffe v Goodman: "An 'intention', to my mind, connotes a state of affairs which the party 'intending'...does more than merely contemplate. It connotes a state of affairs which, on the contrary, he decides,

  2. What is an indictable offence and how is it brought to trial?

    agrees, he directs the jury to return a verdict of "not guilty" and the case comes to an end. If the defence does not make a submission, or if the submission is rejected, the defence may call witnesses who are examined in chief and cross-examined by the prosecutor.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work