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Non fatal offences reform essay

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Introduction

Law Reform Essay Write a critical analysis of the current law of the non fatal offences against the person act. Include in your analysis a discussion of what reforms may be desirable. One criticism of the offence against the person act is that it uses archaic language and does not comply with modern day language as it uses words such as maliously and grevious. The word grevious should be replaced with the word serious and maliously, which was defined in R v Cunningham, should be replaced with the word intention and recklessness. This change should happen as the non fatal offences are badly defined, for example there is no clear statutory definition for assault or battery. ...read more.

Middle

This is because the punishment of assault and battery is a maximum of 6 months whereas s47 of the Offences against the person act has a maximum sentence of 5 years, the only difference is that ABH can mean as little as causing discomfort to the person. In s20 the offence is defined more serious than s47 but has the same maximum sentence as s47, this should not be the case as the actus reus and mens rea are much higher for s20 then they are for s47. Another problem that there is only slight difference in s20 and s18 but a more serious mens rea for s18 but the sentencing leaps from 5 years to life imprisonment. ...read more.

Conclusion

For example R v Ireland and R v Burstow have considerably extended the law on assault and s20, R v Dica created another extension to s20 as the defendant was convicted of biological GBH. Therefore the reforms that should be made the offence against the person act is that s47 should be replaced by the offence of intentionally or recklessly causing injury to another person. Another is that s20 and s18 should be replaced to separate offence of recklessly causing a serious injury to another and intentionally causing a serious injury to another where the maximum prison sentence would be seven years. Also the harm intended or foreseen must correspond to the offence committed for example in case of Roberts and Mowatt. The final reform would be that serious injury does not include disease therefore a person will only be liable if they intent to infect another person with a serious sexual disease. ...read more.

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