Criminal Law

Better Essays
Question 1(b)
The Latin phrase “actus non facit reum nisi mens sit rea” implies that an act does not make one guilty unless the mind is also. Thus, the meaning behind mens rea lies within the mental element of the defendant in a crime. H.L.A. Hart states that “what is crucial is that those whom we punish should have had, when they acted, the normal capacities, physical and mental, for doing what the law requires and abstaining form what it forbids, and a fair opportunity to exercise these capacities. Where these capacities and opportunities are absent, … the moral protest is that it is morally wrong to punish because ‘he could not have helped it’ or ‘he could not have done otherwise’ or ‘he had no real choice’.”
Intention is an element of mens rea and can be divided into two parts, namely, direct and oblique intention. Direct intention concludes that a defendant directly desires the consequence of their actions. From the case of Calhaem, we can see that the defendant had clearly intended to kill the victim despite his monetary motivation to commit the act. In Byrne, the defendant had an impulse and intention to commit murder despite his sadistic psychopath behaviour. He enjoyed the act of killing another. However, the case of State v Sikora denies any form of desire to kill in the defendant due to his psychodynamic state of mind. This finding is in conflict with the conclusion in Byrne. Francis J. on Sikora is of the opinion that “if the law were to accept a medical doctrine, as established by Dr Galen on the case, the legal doctrine of mens rea would all but disappear from the law and criminal responsibility would vanish”. Conclusively, whatever the mental health of the defendant, an intention is still sufficient mens rea of a crime.
Oblique intention is whereby the defendant foresees the consequence of his actions as virtually certain but still acts anyway. The degree of probability that the defendant foresees the consequence of his actions is known as the

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Powerful Essays

    Criminal Law

    • 1704 Words
    • 7 Pages

    1. What is Criminal Law? Criminal law is that branch or division of law which defines crimes, treats of their nature, and provides for their punishment. 2. When did the RPC take effect? Art 1. Time when Act takes effect – This Code shall take effect on the first day of January, nineteen hundred and thirty two. (Jan. 1, 1932) 3. What are the sources of Phil. Criminal Law? a.) The RPC and its amendments b.) Special Penal Laws passed by the Phil Commission, Phil Assembly, Phil…

    • 1704 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Criminal Law

    • 5457 Words
    • 22 Pages

    ZIMBABWE INSTITUTE OF LEGAL STUDIES DIPLOMA IN APPLIED LAW Name: Laura Bandah Reg. Number: Z120117K Intake: August 2012, Semester 1 Course: Criminal Law and Statutory Offences Course Code: CLSO 104 Tutor’s Name: Ms L. Mhuru Question: (a) The Zimbabwean law does not normally impose liability or failure to act despite the fact that there may be compelling moral justifications for doing so. For example, the courts have often explained that there is no legal duty upon a stranger…

    • 5457 Words
    • 22 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    Criminal Law

    • 90261 Words
    • 362 Pages

    .............................. History of South African criminal law .............................................................................................. The sources of our criminal law ........................................................................................................ The onus of proof in criminal cases .................................................................................................. Criminal liability: a summary ..................................…

    • 90261 Words
    • 362 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Criminal Law

    • 1727 Words
    • 7 Pages

    CRIMINAL LAW THREE TYPES: Infractions- (like traffic tickets), which are minor violations and, usually, the punishment is having to pay a fine. Felonies- are serious crimes like armed robbery, arson, carjacking, rape, assault with intent to do great bodily harm, drug dealing, and murder. This is only a partial list but the thing to remember about felonies is that you will have over one year in prison if convicted. Misdemeanors- are lesser offenses like assault, reckless driving, drug possession…

    • 1727 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Better Essays

    Criminal Law

    • 1304 Words
    • 6 Pages

    Criminal Law Evaluation Paper CJA/354 Criminal Law June 20, 2011 Kristin Mildenberger Abstract Criminal law is very important to the criminal justice system. Criminal law states what behavior is criminal and it gives the punishment for each crime. In this document the sources and purposes of criminal law will be discussed. The jurisdiction information will be explained in order to show how it determines where the laws are enforced and created. The differences in the adversarial system and…

    • 1304 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    Criminal Law

    • 488 Words
    • 2 Pages

    Gordon Philosophical Foundation Professor Novich Characteristics of the Criminal Law Criminal behavior is behavior that goes against societies norms and the laws of the people. These laws are put in place to protect the people and their property. The laws are usually enforced by a law enforcement agency and punishment issued by a judicial system. There are several different characteristics that make up a body of law. Sutherland and Cressey (1974) states, “ the characteristics which distinguish…

    • 488 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Criminal Law

    • 1053 Words
    • 5 Pages

    Criminal Law Kiaira Knox 3.14.13. Criminal law addresses the government’s prosecution of individuals who have committed an act classified as a crime. Federal, state, and local governments categorize crime and prosecute criminals. This is the nature and purpose of law. Without laws, people wouldn’t know what to do. The rule of law is the belief that an orderly society must be governed by established principles (laws) and applied fairly to all of its members (basically stating that no one is…

    • 1053 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    criminal law

    • 1011 Words
    • 12 Pages

    2014/10/3 Criminal Law Hanif Mughal (麥 嘉 豪 ) Adjunct Associate Professor ( 兼任教授) Barrister-at-law ( 大律師 ) DLS 2 BRIEF - Lecture 1 (A).General Introduction (B). What is a crime? (C). Principles of Criminal Liability Chapters 1, 2 and 4 of the Workbook and some additional information 2 (A) General Introduction 1.General Principles. 2. Law regulates conduct in society. 3. Division of Law into civil and criminal law. 4. Civil Law – disputes between individuals. 3 1 2014/10/3 5. Criminal Law - disputes…

    • 1011 Words
    • 12 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Good Essays

    Criminal Law

    • 9386 Words
    • 38 Pages

    2 The elements of an offence Contents Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 General analysis of criminal offences . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13 Limitations on the value of the Latin terms actus reus and mens rea . . . . 14 Proof of the ingredients of an offence . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15 Lawful excuse . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16 Reflect and review . . . . . . . . . . . . .…

    • 9386 Words
    • 38 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Criminal Law

    • 1054 Words
    • 5 Pages

    Criminal Law Paper Your Name CJA/354 March 26, 2012 Beverly Spencer An interesting case that was currently brought before the Supreme Court was Missouri vs. Frye. I found this case interesting due to the injustice that was provided by Frye’s counsel, and that Frye insisted on committing the same crime over and over again even though he knew he had an open case concerning driving under a suspended license. There were many sources and jurisdictions related to criminal law that also…

    • 1054 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Good Essays