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Offences against the person act 1861; criticisms and reforms.

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  • Essay length: 2314 words
  • Submitted: 15/10/2003
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GCSE Law

The first 200 words of this essay...

Offences against the person act 1861; criticisms and reforms.

By Lucy Weet

There has been much discussion on the Offences against the person act (OAPA) 1861. Many see the act as outdated and clumsy, its wording unclear and as being difficult to explain and prosecute under. The OAPA is used in 100,000 prosecutions every year. The Law Commission has attacked the OAPA for creating constant legal argument and delay because of unclear wording and wasting thousands of pounds in taxpayer's money in appeals. Both the Law Commission and the Government have looked at possible reforms for the act in order to improve its position in English Law. The 1861 Act is widely criticised for being archaic and unclear, it is in urgent need of reform. It is hoped that after the change have been made that the statute will be able to be used more effectively and efficiently.

The criticisms of the OAPA have been around for several years. Many lawyers and judges have expressed difficulties in using the act and there have been Law Commissions set up to look into the act itself. Jack Straw has described the act as "out-moded

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