Legal Studies HSC Notes
PART 1: Crime
The Nature of Crime
The meaning of crime
Crime: a punishable act that is seen as a danger to the society and is ethically and morally wrong. Elements of a crime: It must be proven that an accused intended to commit and committed the crime for them to be found guilty. Mens Rea: (Gulity Mind) a person’s intention to commit crime. The prosecution must prove that accused was aware of his actions. Actus Reus: (Guilty Act) a person’s physical action out taken to commit the crime. It must be proven. Causation: Besides the crime taking place, prosecution must show link between the act and harm caused. Classifying Crime
Indictable Offence: Serious crimes such as murder & serious sexual assault. There are more steps to criminal process including committal hearing to ensure there is sufficient evidence. Penalty can result in life sentence. Summary Offences: Less serious charges, such as drink driving, petty crimes. It is heard by a magistrate in a local court usually. Penalty is usually a summon or a charge up to 2 years of imprisonment. Offences against persons: Main aim of crime is to cause harm to others. Three main categories are: Homicide, Sexual Assault, and Assault. Four types of Homicide:
Murder – To gain conviction it has to be proven that the act was deliberate to cause harm, which occurred in death. Another aspect is ‘constructive murder which is death caused during a serious crime e.g. Bank robbery Reckless Indifference – prosecutors have to prove that the accused know his actions would have caused death. Manslaughter – Unlawfully killing a person but the accused has a defence. Maximum penalty is 25years. 2 types of manslaughter: Voluntary – provoked or mentally unstable when they caused death. Involuntary – the accused unintended to cause death. Infanticide – A mother causing death to their child within the first 12 months of birth. Mentally Unstable, Post Natal Depression. Death by reckless driving –...
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