Murder, Mens Rea and suggested reforms.

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         Coke’s definition asses the mens rea  murder as ‘malice afterthought’ and this term is still greatly used. However, “malice afterthought is now simply a work of art” which in its modern interpretation bears no meaning or little meaning to its words. For example, the term is misleading. This term is misleading in the sense that it suggests some sorts of ill will or preplanning, Malice afterthoughts have therefore been interpreted by the courts as meaning intention to kill and cause intention to GBH (serious bodily harm). D intends to kill or cause GBH where his conduct is carried out in order to bring about that result which is referred to as direct intent or where her conduct is certain to cause the result, she foresees it as a virtual certainty and the jury choose to find intention  (oblique intent). At a time, the house of lords expanded the definition of oblique intention in murder to include cases where D did not foresee a virtual certainty, but a reasonable person in D’s position would have done so.

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             The mens rea requirement for murder can be satisfied by an intention to kill or to  cause GBH, malice afterthought put more simply but interpreted by courts as to what was mentioned above. As an alternative to an intention to kill, which is very important. D acts or omits to act with the Intention to cause GBH if she intends directly, or oblique to cause a really serious bodily harm. For example, an intention to severely injure S would result to an intention to cause GBH. The jury would have access what D was thinking, ...

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