For those interested in the juicy issues of LIABILITY and its role in Criminal (Public law) and Civil (Private law) realms here is a brief overview:
I want to start with a repetition of what Prof Naylor said about criminal acts: to be convicted there needs to be proof of the ACT and the INTENTION (Actus Reus and Mens Rhea in latin if you want to sound smart…). This applies to liability.
So there are 2 main veins of LIABILITY applicable to law (which as a concept is loosely defined as something disadvantageous – a glitch!)
A. Strict is usually referred to as “no fault” which makes it sound much nicer than it is. It is actually quite the opposite as it basically means that no matter whether there was fault behind the injurious effect of an action – the responsibility still falls on the actor that caused it. So if I am responsible for my car crashing into a car in front of me (because I was driving it) it does not matter that the breaks were faulty and I had no idea (my driving was safe!) I still have to pay for the other guy’s broken tail-light. What does this mean? You are assessed in terms of your ACTUS REUS (the act) regardless of whether or not there was MENS RHEA (the intention). In private law (civil matters) – there is no real need to prove intention. You didn’t pay your taxes – you get the punishment… It does not matter that you did not know you were supposed to. Srict liability DOES at times appear in Criminal law but only to prove recklessness or negligence (which is not exactly deliberate acts but ones borne of extreme stupidity!). In public law (criminal matters) it is important that you are punished for your bad intentions along with the actions these caused.
B. Absolute is more prevalent in Criminal law as fault (MENS RHEA) must be present and must be proven. Sometimes you don’t even need ACYUS REUS in order to get in trouble for MENS RHEA such as with “attempted murder” or “conspiracy” cases – you may...
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