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Strict Liability

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Introduction

Question Explain how strict liability is used in criminal law, and consider whether it should be used in this way Answer In criminal law it is established that if a defendant is to be found guilty of an offence they must have the necessary actus reus and mens rea. However, for an offence of Strict Liability to be committed there is no need for the mens rea element because the state of mind of the accused is never questioned. ...read more.

Middle

Where an offence is likely to affect the Public interest as a whole then the courts are more likely to decide that the offence is one of strict liability. People who are convicted of these offences are not normally regarded as criminals and will receive a penalty such as a fine. The courts start by presuming that mens rea is required for any of these offences even though the person committing the offence may not have been aware that they were doing any wrong as shown in Sweet and Parsley 1969 and Gammon (Hong Kong) ...read more.

Conclusion

However, there are disadvantages: * Liability should not be imposed on those who are not blameworthy * It is wrong to penalise those who have taken care * There is no evidence to support that it raises public awareness and standards In conclusion strict liability offences tend to be in areas where people voluntarily engage in a particular activity which automatically carries certain risks not only to themselves but to the general public as a whole and are put in place to protect and ensure certain standards of safety are adhered to. ...read more.

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