The expansion of criminal responsibility has broadened the scope of liability and defences applicable in relation to Offences Against the Person.
PRINCIPALS AND ACCESSORIES
Central to this expansion is determining liability through a person's degree of associated knowledge and participation in a crime. In a criminal context, the principal offender is one whose acts or omissions are the most immediate cause of death. The identification of secondary parties depend on judicial interpretation of 'aid, abet, counsel and procure' . To identify these parties, a causal link must be established between them. Accessories before and after the fact are also relevant in determining liability. Defences that deny an accused's associated knowledge and participation in a crime may be employed as, generally, principals and accessories are held liable to the same degree. Such issues will be further explored when discussing complicity and inchoate offences.
The mental element of complicity refers to participation in a crime through demonstrating an intention to assist or encourage the commission of an offence by another person. The Crimes Act (NSW) refers to three doctrines of complicity: joint criminal enterprise, extended common purpose and accessorial liability. In these contexts, the mens rea and actus reas of the secondary participant must be established in order to amount to complicity with the primary participant. Since complicity is substantially governed by common law rather than statute, cases that raise issues of Offences Against the Person will be used in order to exemplify characteristics of complicity.
JOINT CRMINAL ENTERPRISE
Join criminal enterprise is defined in Crimes Act and established in Australia in Johns . The elements of this offence are explored in Clayton v The Queen where three friends demonstrated necessary reciprocal understanding in agreeing to invade the neighbours house. Physical presence at the commission...