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Law essay - Offences Against the person Act, 1861and its reforms.

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Introduction

Law essay. Offences Against the person Act, 1861and its reforms. 'It has been suggested by the Law Commission and others that section 18, 20 and 47 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861 should be repealed because they are unjust, ineffective, illogical and severely defective. In addition the offences, as they are defined, are incomprehensible to juries.' Explain and comment on these suggestions. In 1980 it was suggested by the Criminal Law revision Committee that the area of law concerning the Offences Against the Person Act 1861 should be reformed. Its proposals were incorporated into the draft code of criminal law prepared by the law Commission. The LC again considered the matter at the beginning of the 1990's. In 1993 a report and Criminal Law draft Bill on the issue in question was produced. Whilst considering the reforms much emphasis was played on the wording of the Act and its sections. The language used was updated and wording such as seriously injured was used rather than grievous bodily harm, whilst enabling the words 'maliciously' and 'wounding' all together. ...read more.

Middle

However, when the change comes for many it will be seen as a tremendous breakthrough in solving cases due to the difficulty of the wording of sections. The proposals for the reform of the criminal offences used to prosecute violence against people and the difficulty of the vocabulary of offences of violence against the person is part of the common currency of everyday life. Television and general media has made the words GBH and ABH deeply familiar with all people, not just those of the legal career and knowledge. However, this familiarity has led that such time-hallowed offences are readily understood or that they provide an effective means for the courts to deal with violent behaviour - this is not the case. The act in itself derives from both common and statute law but the unrepealed parts of the OAPA 1861 provided the bulk of the statutory offences. The Act itself is not a coherent restatement of the law but a consolidation of much older law. ...read more.

Conclusion

This Bill sets out the way in which the Government believes that the law in this area can be modernised, simplified and brought within a single statute. This Bill also sets out a new hierarchy of offences against the person, ranging from intentional serious injury to assault. The distinction between these levels of injury would be based on motivation and outcome, to replace the existing range of statutory and common law offences. In putting this Bill into place it is making the law more accessible and therefore helping criminal cases such as those mentioned being dealt with much more easily and at the same time enabling the citizens to understand the criminal offences more easily - this would also work for the police in a similar way in that it enables the police to explain and charge offences that are more readily understood. It should also make the task for judges, magistrates and juries more straightforward in the day-to-day administration of justice for the victims and their communities. It is hoped that these proposals will improve the English and Welsh justice system to a higher standard and quality. Gemma Louise Lang Year 13. ...read more.

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