Kidnapping is an area of criminal law, and is action or crime of forcefully taking away and holding somebody prisoner, usually for ransom. In Victoria, the law for kidnapping is:
Crimes Act 1958 - SECT 63A
Whosoever leads takes or entices away or detains any person with intent to demand from that person or any other person any payment by way of ransom for the return or release of that person or with intent to gain for himself or any other person any advantage (however arising) from the detention of that person shall, whether or not any demand or threat is in fact made, be guilty of an indictable offence and liable to level 2 imprisonment (25 years maximum). Why does society have this law?
Society has kidnapping as a criminal law because it keeps society safe and protects you from people taking you. Laws establish a code of conduct for the community to live by, set a boundary for acceptable behaviour, reflect changing values and protects the community from harm. Elements of a criminal law
* Actus Reus – act of committing a crime
* Mens Rea – guilty mind
* Causation – act of causing something
* Concurrence – where actus reus and mens rea occur at the same time An indictable offence is a serious criminal offence that allows the accused or defendant to be tried before a judge and jury. A defendant/accused is the party or person charged with a criminal offence. A prosecutor is the party in a criminal trial who presents the case against the offender. The prosecutor is appointed by the Director of Public Prosecutions to work on a particular case, but is not necessarily a fulltime employee of the DPP. The Crown refers to the monarch of Australia or their representative in Australia. It also refers to the state, which is acting on behalf of the Queen in bringing criminal charges against those who have committed crimes. Some crimes do not require the prosecution to prove mens rea, all that needs to be show is actus reus, and means that they can be found guilty just for causing the act even though they didn’t have a guilty mind. Age of criminal responsibility
Under Victorian law, a child under 10 years of age cannot be charged with having committed a criminal offence. It is assumed that the child does not understand the consequences of his or her actions. Between the ages of 10-14 years, the law assumes that a child is mentally incapable of committing a crime, but can be charged if the prosecution can prove that the child intended to commit the act, and did so with ‘mischievous discretion’. Children over the age of 14 can be charged the same as an adult is. Defences to crimes against the person (criminal offences)
* Self-defence occurs when someone uses force to defend himself, herself or another person from death or really serious injury. * Automatism is the defence used when a person commits a crime as a result of muscle spasms or reflexes, or he or she is not conscious by virtue of a state such as sleepwalking. * Duress is the force or compulsion to perform a particular act. * Mental impairment is a defence where a person is unable to recognise the nature of what he or she is doing or that it is wrong, due to a mental disturbance. * Necessity is a defence involving the defendant arguing that the crime they committed was necessary to prevent a greater harm. * Sudden or extraordinary emergency refers to the defence where a person will be found of murder when if it is found that the conduct carried out by him or her was in response to a sudden or extraordinary emergency. The person must believe that the circumstances of sudden or extraordinary emergency existed and that committing the offence was the only way to deal with the emergency. * Intoxication is a defence that requires two elements: the physical act and the mental intention. The accused may claim to have been affected by alcohol or drugs, and be unaware of what they were doing,...
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