Topics: Criminal law, Law, Crime Pages: 2 (673 words) Published: March 20, 2013
The current law on recklessness is far from satisfactory. Do you agree with this statement? This essay agrees with the above statement that the current law on recklessness is far from satisfactory. In order to continue it is necessary to define recklessness and the current law on it. Recklessness is a problematic area of the criminal law, since there is no strict definition of what constitutes it. Statutes make provision for the presence of recklessness, but have yet to define it strictly, thus it falls on the hands of the judges to interpret what is meant by recklessness. It is therefore most easily delineated via case law. According to Jacqueline Martin (2010) ‘recklessness is where the defendant knows there is a risk of the consequence happening but that takes the risk’. Recklessness appears in offences ranging in gravity from manslaughter at the top end of the scale to criminal damage and a range of statutory offences at the bottom, offences involving reckless are called offences of basic intent. Judges have had to rely on “explanations in important case reports” in order to decide what amounts to recklessness. The development of the law in this area will be looked out with the aid of case law such as R v Cunningham [1957] R v Caldwell [1982] and R v G [2003]. In order to identify and understand the concept of recklessness, intention needs to be discussed. The 19th century criminal legislation required that defendants had to have acted `maliciously’ and `unlawfully’ when committing an offence. The accused will act unlawfully if D fails to present a lawful reason for D’s act, D would be considered acting maliciously once D satisfies the level of Mens Rea required for the Actus Reus. The word `malicious’ introduces the requirement of Mens Rea. The statutory definition of `malice’ is, requiring an actual intention to do a particular kind of harm that in fact was done, or reckless as to whether such harm should occur or not. The accused has foreseen that...
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