"In general the criminal law prohibits the doing of harm but does not impose criminal liability for an omission to act". Assess the truth of this statement and the arguments used to justify it.
"In general the criminal law prohibits the doing of harm but does not impose criminal liability for an omission to act". Assess the truth of this statement and the arguments used to justify it. An omission can be most easily described as a failure to do something. There is generally no liability in English law for failing to act. For example, there is no legal duty to help someone who is in danger (i.e. somebody who is drowning). Many people often get confused between an act and an omission, so first it must be decided whether you are dealing with an act or an omission. There are three situations where the question "act or omission" arises: continuing acts, supervening faults and euthanasia. An act is usually where the defendant is proven guilty of a crime because they possess all the elements of actus reus and mens rea and an omission is where the a person has failed to do something which generally there is no liability for, but like any rule there are many exceptions so this has lead me to believe that the statement above is false. For example if somebody refuses to provide a breath sample or failed to report an accident, they can then be found liable because a limited number of statutory provisions create liability for omissions in specified circumstances such as the Road Traffic Offences Act 1988. Another exception is where there is a contractual duty to act, there
"In most societies there is a conflict between individual privacy, civil liberties and the need to provide adequate protection for the community" - Discuss.
LEGAL STUDIES ESSAY "In most societies there is a conflict between individual privacy, civil liberties and the need to provide adequate protection for the community". Change is omnipresent, and over time the balance between individual privacy, civil liberties and the need to provide adequate protection for the community may be shifted one way or the other - no delicate balance seems to exist because there is not one which can please an ever-evolving community. Therefore there is a constant battle over the order of importance and moral correctness of each of these items. Law enforcement is one area that attempts to strike a balance. Every step of the way, the police must respect their code to ensure that civil liberties are not imposed upon (to a certain extent) and to ensure that the essential rights of a prisoner are not ignored. They also must provide adequate protection for the community - but with widespread corruption still evident throughout NSW, that's certainly more easier said than done. Perhaps this is because they are horrendously underpaid for what they do; only the government is to blame for that. Law enforcement is not limited to police, however, courts themselves may impose fines and the like to protect the community - as seen with the Sydney hotelier receiving a $20,000 fine after the death of a patron who consumed excessive amounts of alcohol. Individual
"Justice should not only be done, but should manifestly and undoubtedly be seen to be done." - Lord Hewart
"Justice should not only be done, but should manifestly and undoubtedly be seen to be done."1 - Lord Hewart "This is not about your client's harsh upbringing, nor their life-story, this proceeding regards the law."2 - District Court Judge Introduction The popularised image of courtroom dramas in no way prepared me for the everyday realities of our court system. Interestingly, glimpses of this over-dramatised form of the law appeared on occasions, through the conduct of enthusiastic prosecutors or dry magistrates. The marked separation in formality, conduct and atmosphere of each court was of more surprise than the variations in procedure. The local courts were characteristic of what might be called 'assembly-line law', where large numbers of cases were dealt with summarily, the magistrate often taking only minutes to move the accused on. The cases were simple and repetitive, it became difficult to see the participants as individuals, instead of yet another number to be dealt with. The complexity of the Supreme Court was very different, and the situation far more reflective of the discourse of justice and rationality that the law promotes. Whilst there is clear merit in the argument that different tiers of justice exist3, it is generalist to argue it is the result of an insidious state ideology. Communication difficulties, unrepresented defendants, and uncompromising
Criminal Law- Question Problem
Aylin Yildiz Word Count: 1374 Problem Question: Discuss the criminal liability of Faisal, Azad, Chuck and Bill. In this case, the victim firstly faced several physical attacks in an alley, and was later killed through repeated hits on the head with a cricket bat. This essay covers the respective liabilities of the principal offender Azad, followed by his accomplices Chuck and Bill, and lastly the shopkeeper who provided the murder weapon, Faisal. The principal has committed the crime of murder by unlawfully killing another person in the Queen's peace. The defendant had the required mens rea that is either the intention to kill or cause grievous bodily harm, in circumstances where finding an intention on the evidence of virtual certainty1 is left to the jury (Woollin2). The evidence suggests that the principle purchased a cricket bat (which is not an illegal weapon to possess under English law) with an intention to beat the victim unconscious. His intention to cause grievous bodily harm3 didn't change when he formed a joint enterprise with his two other friends. Then the question left for the jury is whether it was virtually certain that his voluntary actions could result in the death of the victim. The answer seems to be the affirmative. The principal can raise defences to decrease his conviction to manslaughter, but they have a small chance to succeed. For instance, the
The youth justice system.
The youth justice system is fraught with inequities. One sees a disparity in the levels of quality defense and sentences given to the young offenders. In the same manner, the disparity between the treatment of youth with private lawyers and those with Legal Aid (rich and poor; minority and Caucasian) is evident. The barely adequate youth criminal justice system has failed to benefit the young people involved. A visit to youth court confirmed several pre-conceived ideas; poverty and crime are closely linked, lawyers are rarely affordable leading to Legal Aid's mediocre efficiency and suspect efficacy. There is a correlation between ethnicity and number of arrests within a community; no longer recorded is the offender's race when arrested, earlier statistics identify 75% of Winnipeg Youth Detention as Aboriginal disproportionate to the 10% of Manitoba's population that are Aboriginal. These disaffected youth are being stereotyped by the authorities and through their institutionalization, they are inadvertently fulfilling those stereotypes. Parents, being unable to control their children, are turning to the courts to raise and discipline them. A 15 year old boy, shackled and in blue sweats (youth court's take on blue coveralls), was charged with mischief including a motor vehicle and failing to reside. The catchall mischief charge resulted from him breaking a window
"All inchoate offences should be abolished on the theory that society is not harmed until the crime is completed" - Critically evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the above proposition.
"All inchoate offences should be abolished on the theory that society is not harmed until the crime is completed" Critically evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the above proposition using examples drawn from any of the inchoate offences of incitement, conspiracy and attempt. 'All inchoate offences should be abolished on the theory that society is not harmed until the crime is completed', during this essay I shall critically evaluate this statement, using examples from the inchoate offences of incitement, conspiracy and attempt. The definition of Inchoate offences, are the incomplete offences. I shall first explain the actus reus and the mens rea required for all the inchoate offences. The actus reus of conspiracy is the agreement with another or others that a course of conduct will be pursued, which if carried out by their instructions, will lead to an offence. The mens rea of conspiracy is intention, although in Anderson 1986 the House of Lords decided that the defendant was to be found guilty even when intention was not established. The actus reus of incitement is when the offender urges, suggests, persuades, etc. another to commit a crime. The mens rea of incitement is again intention, this intention is to bring about the required result. The actus reus of attempts exists when a party does an act, which is more than merely preparatory. Once again intention is the
Is There Any Rational Basis for the Distinction Which Criminal Law Draws Between Acts and Omissions? How consistently is the Distinction Maintained?
2. Is There Any Rational Basis for the Distinction Which Criminal Law Draws Between Acts and Omissions? How consistently is the Distinction Maintained? An act is an action which directly or indirectly causes a result. In criminal law, a person is held liable for an action which, when the required mens rea1 and actus reus2 can jointly be proven to have caused harm to a person or property, unless they have a reasonable defence3. In contrast people are usually not convicted for their omissions: "it is evident that to punish men by law for not rendering to others all the service which it is their [moral] duty to render would be preposterous" 4. Making all moral omissions a crime would encompass too many people and would create an oppressive society5. An omission in law is where action is not taken which would prevent or reduce the risk of harm or damage to a person or property, where a person has an obligation to act. A policeman in Dytham  QB 7226 was found guilty of misconduct whilst acting as an officer of justice, whilst as he was in uniform and on duty he stood by and failed to assist a man who was beaten to death by a doorman of a nightclub. His omission to act had contravened his statutory obligation to help, which his profession imposed on him. Where a relationship or assumption of care is present, there is an automatic duty to act, so that if an omission to act
Consent in the law.
CONSENT In A-G's Reference (No 6 of 1980) , the Court of Appeal held that, subject to exceptions mentioned below, a person's consent is irrelevant and cannot prevent criminal liability for an offence if actual bodily harm was intended and/or caused. This strict rule was based on the view that it is not in the public interest that people should try to cause, or should cause, each other actual bodily harm for no good reason. In some cases there may be a good reason, and the Court of Appeal was at pains to emphasise that the above rule did not affect the accepted legality of certain situations, referred to below, in which the consent of the victim is legally relevant and renders the conduct in question lawful. One cannot consent to the intentional causing of actual bodily harm, except in certain recognised cases. R v Brown and Others  & R v Wilson . As a general rule where persons quarrel and agree to settle their differences with a fight, the injuries can amount to an assault and the unlawfulness cannot be denied by pleading that the other consented to the fight. A-G's Reference (No 6 of 1980) . As the House of Lords recognised in Brown there may be 'good reason' for the intended infliction of actual bodily harm, in which case a valid consent to it may be given. The exceptional cases where a person may validly consent to intentional actual bodily harm
What improvements, if any, will there be to the present law on consent and on mistaken belief in consent in rape cases as a result of the Sexual Offences Bill 2003?
Criminal Law essay Date: 30th October 2003 By: Neville Chiu Tutorial Group: M Tutor: Michelle Dempsey What improvements, if any, will there be to the present law on consent and on mistaken belief in consent in rape cases as a result of the Sexual Offences Bill 2003? Under existing English Criminal law, a person cannot ordinarily be found guilty of a serious criminal offence unless two elements are present: the actus reus or guilty act and the mens rea or guilty mind. The prosecution has to prove that the accused has committed the crime charged and the accused is innocent unless proven beyond reasonable doubt that he is guilty. Actus reus is defined in Haughton v Smith1 as the elements of an offence excluding those which concern the mind of the accused. "An act does not make a man guilty of a crime unless his mind is also guilty." The actus reus of rape is sexual intercourse without consent. Mens reas is defined as the state of mind expressly or impliedly required by the definition of the offence charged. There is a presumption that it is an essential ingredient in every criminal offence, liable to be displaced either by the words of the statute or by the subject matter. If a particular intent or state of mind is an ingredient of a specific offence, which must be proved by the prosecution; but the nonexistence of mens reas is a matter of defense. Thus for a defendant
Critically assess the impact of the way in which media and politicians represented the murder of James Bulger by Venables and Thompson on youth justice policy and practise over the last ten years.
CJS2007 Critically assess the impact of the way in which media and politicians represented the murder of James Bulger by Venables and Thompson on youth justice policy and practise over the last ten years. On February 12th 1993 Jon Venables and Robert Thompson abducted a two-year-old boy from a shopping centre in Liverpool. The pair then proceeded to beat and murder him. At the time of the murder Venables and Thompson were only 10 years old. The murder of James Bulger has been one of the most notorious that Britain has ever seen. It caused outrage and disgust, 10 years later the James Bulger murder still causes much controversy. Venables and Thompson were found guilty of murder and sentenced. The trials judge justice Michael Moorland said they should be locked up for 'many many years' he recommended the pair be detained for at least 8 years. The chief lord justice then recommended that the term should be at least 10 years. The final decision rested on the home secretary Michael Howard. He decided the pair should not be considered for parole until they had served at least 15 years. The pair would be detained at secure care homes and a youth offenders home until they were 18 then be moved to an adult prison to serve the rest of their sentence. At the time this seemed like the right sentence to give for such a horrendous crime, but even at the time there was much controversy.