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Conspiracy By Ashley Geeves. What is conspiracy? An agreement between two or more people to do an unlawful act. Most conspiracies are charged as statutory.

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Presentation on theme: "Conspiracy By Ashley Geeves. What is conspiracy? An agreement between two or more people to do an unlawful act. Most conspiracies are charged as statutory."— Presentation transcript:

1 Conspiracy By Ashley Geeves

2 What is conspiracy? An agreement between two or more people to do an unlawful act. Most conspiracies are charged as statutory conspiracy under the Criminal Law Act Before that conspiracy was a common law offence.

3 The three main forms of conspiracy Conspiracy to commit a crime. Conspiracy to defraud. (common law) Conspiracy to corrupt public morals and outrage public decency. (common law)

4 The actus reus of conspiracy The agreement between two people (or more) on a course of conduct, which will lead to a criminal offence. There must be a form of agreement about the course of conduct. If there are a lot of people involved, the offender only has to have agreed with one of them. E.g. Chrastney 1991

5 The mens rea of conspiracy The defendant must intend to agree with the plan. The defendant must intend for the plan to be carried out, or be aware that it may involve committing an offence. In Anderson 1986, the House of Lords stated obiter, that the defendant can be found guilty even if they did not intend for the plan to actually take place.

6 Conspiracy to commit a crime The offence is found in the Criminal Law Act 1977 (amended by the) Criminal Attempts Act 1981 and the Criminal Justice Act “s1, states that the offence of conspiracy to commit a crime will take place when a person agrees with another person or persons to pursue a course of conduct which, if carried out, will amount to or involve the commission of an offence, or would do so if something had not happened making the offence impossible to commit.”

7 Conspiracy in common law S5 Criminal Law Act 1977 states that the offence of common law conspiracy is abolished, the exceptions are: Conspiracy to defraud (s5(2)) Conspiracy to corrupt public morals or outrage public decency (s5(3))

8 Conspiracy to defraud An agreement to practise a fraud on someone. It acts as a safety net to make sure that certain offenders do not escape punishment. It covers conduct that may not be a substantive criminal offence (Scott v MPC 1975).

9 Conspiracy to corrupt public morals or outrage public decency Conspiracy to corrupt public morals covers conduct that does not involve the commission of an offence if it was carried out by one person on their own. E.g. Knuller v DPP 1973 Conspiracy to outrage public decency covers conduct that does not involve the commission of an offence if it was carried out by one person on their own. E.g. Gibson 1990

10 Conspiracy to do the impossible S1 Criminal Law Act 1977 states that a “statutory conspiracy can take place even though the full offence is impossible.” E.g Shivpuri 1987 (relating to all attempts) means that similar rules may be applied to common law conspiracies.

11 Exemption from liability for conspiracy The intended victim cannot be found guilty ( s2(1) Criminal Law Act 1977) If the people you conspired with are (s2(2) Criminal Law Act 1977) : His/her spouse A child under the age of 10


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