2 Objectives Understand what makes an offence Criminal The role of criminal law in societyHow criminal law worksPart 2Explain the elements to be taken into account when deciding if the D had the required Actus Reus
3 What is a Crime Difficult to define a crime. Best way is Conduct Forbidden by the stateFor which there is a punishmentSupported by Lord Atkin in Proprietary Articles Trade Association v Attorney-General for Canada(1931) “Criminal quality of an act cannot be discerned by intuition nor can it be discovered by reference to any standard but one: is the act prohibited with penal consequences”
4 What is Crime Criminal law and offences are very difficult to define. Offences against a person or property for which there is a consequence (punishment)
5 What is Considered a Crime What is considered a crime will change over time. This can be caused by:-Society views- Sexual Offences Act 1967Technological advances- Road Traffic Offences, Internet Fraud, Pornography
6 The Role of The StateCriminal law is set down by state (parliament/House of Lords)Can be set by:European court but has to be incorporated into English LawJudges through case law- Shaw V DPP (1962)Breach of Criminal law leads to penaltyImposed on defendant on behalf of the state.Prosecution of Criminal cases is usually carried out by state, Crown Prosecution Service (CPS)But can be started by individuals (rare) or organisations e.g. RSPCAAlways controlled by the state- Attorney General
7 Elements of a CrimeThere are many different offences however all must have two elements:-Actus reus- an act, omission or state of affairsMens rea – guilty mind“Actus non facit reuem nisi mens sit rea” which means the act itself does not constitute guilt unless done with a guilty mind. Both an act (or omission) and a guilty mind must be proved for criminal offencesActus ReusPhysical element+Mens ReaMental element=Offence
8 Defences Insanity automatism mistake self defence duress necessity and Although the defendant may have done the required act there are a number of general defences (Common law) that may be available which will lead to a “not guilty” verdictInsanityautomatismmistakeself defenceduressnecessity andintoxicationDefence to any offenceNot a defence to murderOnly where because of intoxication D did not have required specific intention for offence
9 DefencesDefendant only needs to raise some evidence of the key points of the defenceWoolmington V DPP (1935)Exception- insanityThis can be from the evidence presented by the defence or prosecution
10 Standard and Burden of Proof Defendant presumed innocent until proven guiltyBurden on prosecution to prove the case against the DefendantStandard- is beyond reasonable doubtBecause defendant liberty could be at stake.If a defence is raised burden on Prosecution to disprove defenceReverse onus- for certain defences (insanity, diminished responsibility) burden of proof is on the Defendant – Standard is on balance or probabilities
11 Exception- Strict Liability-prosecution only need to prove actus rea Causation-
12 Punishments Caution Fine Community service Imprisonment Tagging ProbationLicenceSuspended sentence
13 Criminal Law and Human Rights UK and 50 other Countries signed European Convention on Human RightsIt sets out Basic Human Rights people are entitled to expectAlthough UK signed in 1950 it was not incorporated into English Law until 2000
15 Criminal Court System House of Lords Court of Appeal Crown Court 3 JudgesCrown CourtJudge and Jury of piersMagistrates CourtOne MagistrateThree Magistrates
16 Case LawShaw V DPP (1962)The defendant published a Ladies Directory which advertised the names and addresses of prostitutes with their photos and details of the services they were prepared to offer. He was charged with conspiracy to corrupt public morals. The House of Lords Accepted that there was an offence of conspiracy to corrupt public morals, as there did not appear to be any other offence which covered the situation
17 Case LawWoolmington V DPP (1935) D’s wife had left him and gone to live with her mother. D went to the Mother’s house and shot his wife dead. He claimed that he had decided to ask his wife to come back to him and if she refused, that he would commit suicide. For this reason he was carrying under his coat a loaded sawn of shot gun. When his wife indicated that she would not return to him he threatened to shoot himself and brought the gun out to show her he meant it. A she brought it out it some how went off, killing his wife. He claimed that this was a pure accident. The judge at the trial told the jury that the prosecution had to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the defendant killed his wife. He then went onto tell them that if the prosecution satisfied them of that then the D had to show that there were circumstances which made that killing pure accident.This put the burden of proof on to the D. In the House of Lords this held not to be correct
18 TaskCreate a poster to explain the elements of a crime to 16 year olds.Quality criteriaA4 sizeColourfulEasy to read
19 Task Create a poster to explain the criminal court structure. Quality criteriaA4 sizeColourfulEasy to readIncludes all courtsExplain how courts are preceded over
20 Summary Crime is Conduct Forbidden by the state For which there is a punishmentCrime must have two partsActus Reus (physical act) andMens Rea( guilty mind)Case brought by or on behalf of state, CPSBut can be by individual (rare) or organisation (RSPCA)Burden of proof on Prosecution, standard of proof beyond reasonable doubt.Defences- Insanity, automatism, mistake, self defence (all crimes)Duress, necessity (not murder) and intoxication but only where D could not have intent because of intoxificationHuman rights-
21 TaskA Criminal Offence is very difficult to define. There are lots and lots of opinions on what makes an offence criminal and the role of criminal law in society.Working in groups of 4 you have 15mins to read all the information given to you and make notes on the key points to explain what makes an action criminal and the role of criminal law today.
22 Next One group of four sit on the inside of the circle The next group sit opposite a member of this group.The group on the outside have 3 mins to explain what they have learnt about what makes a offence criminal.Once the time is up you will move round and tell the next person what you have learntOnce you have visited everyone in the group, the group swap over and the other group do the same thing.
23 TaskCreate a mind map to record all the factors which are taken into account when deciding if an offence is criminal.
24 TaskWorking in your groups you have 30 mins to create a poster to explain to your peers what makes an offence Criminal and how the Criminal Law operates.At the end of the time the group must explain their poster to the rest of the class.
25 BibliographyMartin.J, Criminal Law for A2, Hodder Arnold, London, 2006