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Criminal Law.

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Presentation on theme: "Criminal Law."— Presentation transcript:

1 Criminal Law

2 Criminal Law Pre-Test Answer the questions on the pre-test to the best of your ability, then pass in At the end of the unit we will re-take the pre-test to determine your progress

3 Review Crime: act or omission of an act that is prohibited and punishable by Fed statute Considered wrong by society Causes harm to society/protected individuals The harm is serious Remedy must be handled by CJS Crimes impact society as well as individuals

4 Review Criminal Law: prohibits & punishes acts that injure people, property & society Protects people & property Maintains order Preserves standards of public decency Criminal Code: a federal statute that contains most criminal laws

5 Review Federal Jurisdiction – establishes & revises Criminal Law in Canada Provincial – own judges, court systems; administers most crim. Law in province; passes laws under their jurisdiction Municipal – jurisdiction may be transferred from Provincial

6 Possible Causes of Crime
poverty disregard for other’s rights and property drug use insanity anger revenge

7 Why might Parliament decide to make certain actions criminal?
Interest groups oppose existing laws changing values of society (anti-drug laws, gun laws, drunk-driving laws, capital punishment, abortion laws)

8 Clarity of Laws Law in your life, P.141
What exactly is “Reasonable Force”? Ball Playing Prohibited, Bylaw 391 Read individually. Decide on which violators should be charged. Share decisions in groups. Write a definition so that all park users will understand the Bylaw



11 Types of Offences 1. Summary conviction offences - minor offences; max. $2000 ,6 mos. 2. Indictable offences - serious crimes, can be life imprisonment 3. Hybrid offences - Crown chooses whether to proceed as a summary or indictable offence

12 Essential Elements of a Crime
Actus reus +mens rea = Crime To convict a person of a criminal offence, the Crown must usually prove that these 2 elements existed at the time of the offence

13 Actus Reus “the guilty act”
the voluntarily action, omission or “state of being” For example: Action- assault Omission- not stopping at an accident; failing to provide necessities of life State of being- being in possession of stolen goods; found in a gambling house

14 Mens Rea “the guilty mind”
A deliberate intention to commit a wrongful act, with reckless disregard for the consequences Crown must show that the accused had the intent to commit an offence or knowledge that what they did was against the law

15 Mens Rea Includes: intent or knowledge or willful blindness
desire to carry out the action, can foresee the results or knowledge an awareness of certain facts or willful blindness a deliberate closing of one’s mind to the possible consequences of one’s actions or recklessness taking an unjustifiable risk that a reasonable person would not take or criminal negligence reckless disregard for the safety of others, sometimes causing serious injury or death

16 Actus Reus… clarified A person may incur criminal liability for failing to do that which the law requires him to do as much as by doing that which the law prohibits. Must be a voluntary act, not automatism. An omission is only culpable if there is a common law or statutory duty to act. Generally there is no obligation on anyone to prevent harm or wrongdoing.

17 Case Study R. v.. Sidney Saskatchewan, 1915
The accused man was charged with manslaughter after the death of his wife and son. Following an argument in their home, the wife took the son and started walking to the house of her parents. She and the boy left at night in a severe snowstorm. They never arrived at her parents' house; they froze to death before reaching their destination. The charge against the husband was based primar­ily upon his permitting them to leave and not fol­lowing them or taking any action to protect their safety.

18 No Actus Reus He was found not guilty of failing to supply "necessaries." The court felt that the husband was not criminally liable where the wife exercised her free will and chose to leave the shelter provided for her. With respect to the child, because the wife had control of him and there was nothing to show that the wife would get lost or deliberately expose the child to danger, there was no duty upon the hus­band to intervene.

19 Mens Rea Case R v Moloney (1985) HL
D received a friendly challenge by his stepfather to see who was "quicker on the draw" with shotguns. Both men were drunk, but good friends. Moloney shot and killed his stepfather, although he claimed he had no intention to do so and did not appreciate that the gun was aimed at the victim. Held: Moloney was not guilty of murder as a person only intends the result of an act if his purpose is to bring about that result. As Moloney did not intend to kill his stepfather, he was not guilty of murder.


21 Actus Reus + Mens Rea In Commonwealth v. Cali (Massachusetts, 1923), a man accidentally started a fire in his place of business. He then did nothing to put out the fire because he wanted to collect the fire insurance. He was convicted of arson.

22 Actus Reus + Mens Rea The court concluded that if a person starts a fire accidentally and then purposely refuses to extin­guish it, a conviction for arson is possible since the intent could be formed after, as well as before, the fire started.

23 Actus Reus + Mens Rea = Crime
Actus Reus & Mens Rea Application Questions State which of the people in each scenario would be guilty of committing a criminal offence. Both actus reus and mens rea should exist. Explain your answers.

24 Motive V. Intent Intent Motive
A state of mind in which someone desires to carry out a wrongful action, knows what the results will be, and is reckless regarding the consequences Motive The reason a person commits a crime

25 2 Types of Intent General Intent Specific Intent
The desire to commit a wrongful act, with no ulterior motive or purpose i.e. Hit someone out of anger Specific Intent The desire to commit one wrongful act for the sake of accomplishing another i.e. Hit someone in order to rob them

26 2 Types of Intent General Intent is easier to prove than Specific Intent A court may decide to prosecute someone for manslaughter (unplanned & unintended homicide), rather than murder (planned & deliberate homicide)

27 Case Study Father Jailed in Death of Son Left Unsupervised P. 146

28 Case Study Father Jailed in Death of Son Left Unsupervised
1. failing to provide a child with the necessities of life (supervision) 2. previous warning re: heavy traffic 3. 4.


30 Homework!!! P.152 #1-5


32 Strict & Absolute Liability
Liability- legal responsibility for a wrongful action

33 Strict & Absolute Liability
For some less serious offences, the Crown does not have to establish mens rea to win a conviction i.e. offences against laws meant to protect the public welfare (environmental protection, workplace safety, traffic offences)

34 Strict & Absolute Liability
Offences that do not require mens rea can be grouped into 2 liability categories: Strict Liability Offences Absolute Liability Offences

35 Strict & Absolute Liability
Strict liability offences The accused may acknowledge that the offence took place but then offer the defence of due diligence Due Diligence: the accused took every reasonable precaution to avoid committing the offence in question

36 Strict & Absolutely Liability Example
A business would normally be responsible for pollution & runoff even if there was no intent… Unless they can prove that they took every reasonable precaution to avoid potential pollution (i.e. monitoring devices & special training for staff)

37 Strict and Absolute Liability
offences that do not require mens rea and to which the accused can offer no defence Once the Crown has established that the offence took place & the accused is responsible for it, the Court must find them guilty Because they can offer no defence, they cannot be imprisoned… usually fines

38 Involvement in a Crime Guilt may also be ascribed to incomplete offences & to those who are less than full participants in the crime Parties to an Offence: Perpetrator Accessory after the fact Aiding Abetting Counselling

39 Offenders Perpetrator Co-Perpetrators
the person who actually commits the offence Co-Perpetrators When more than one person is directly involved in an offence both have to be present at the scene of the offence

40 Parties to an Offence Aiding
A criminal offence that involves helping a perpetrator commit a crime Considered partly responsible Does not have to be present i.e. supplying the key to a robber

41 Parties to an Offence Abetting
The crime of encouraging the perpetrator to commit an offence Must have knowledge of the intent & committed an action that assisted the perpetrator Without actually providing physical assistance i.e. Carlos egging Raj on to beat Bill up

42 Parties to an Offence Counselling
A crime that involves advising, recommending, or persuading another person to commit a criminal offence Do not have to be at the scene of the crime i.e. Jenn Save Easy & tells Bob where he can steal without getting seen by staff/cameras

43 Parties to an Offence Accessory after the fact
Someone who knowingly receives, comforts, or assists a perpetrator in escaping from the police Does not have to participate or help planning If you knew that someone was involved in an offence & helped them without reporting them

44 Parties to an Offence Party to common intention
The shared responsibility among criminals for any additional offences that are committed in the course of the crime they originally intended to commit i.e. 6 people hijack a security truck & one of them shoots & kills the driver, all 6 can be charged with murder

45 Incomplete Crimes While actus reus + mens rea = crime,
there are exceptions (where the act has not taken place): Incomplete Crimes: Criminal intent conspiracy

46 Incomplete Crimes Criminal Attempt
The intention to commit a crime, even when the crime is not completed An attempt requires the guilty act but begins the moment mere preparation turns into an action required to commit the offence Mens rea can also be established as occurring at the beginning of an illegal act Had the intent & took some obvious steps Terrorist builds bomb but doesn’t carry through

47 Incomplete Crimes Conspiracy
An agreement between two or more people to carry out an illegal act, even if that act does not actually occur You hire a hitman who is an undercover police officer. No murder was committed, but conspiracy to murder was

48 Oceans 11 Parties to an Offence
During/After viewing this film, fill out your worksheet in order to specify which characters in the film can be charged for which Party to an Offence

49 Homework!!! P.156 #1,2,3,4,5

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