UOW1 – The nature of crime
The nature of crime
The nature of crime embodies the offences made against the state representing society and the population. Within this concept is the operation of principles going to the rights of the victim and the accused in the criminal law process. This process encompasses the commission and elements of the crime going to the actus reus (action of the accused), mens rea (intention of the accused) and causal link to make out the crime; the criminal investigation by the police; the criminal trial process under the adversarial system; the standard of proof beyond reasonable doubt; and the verdict to sentencing options available to the judiciary. This can be illustrated in the case of R v Munter (2009) NSWSC whilst demonstrating the causation in the death of a man assaulted by Munter acting on the mistaken belief that this man was breaching water restrictions, but showing that his intention to kill was absent whilst his actions contributed to the outcome. In this case, Munter received a custodial sentence for manslaughter.
Summary and indictable offences
Criminal conduct is categorised by summary and indictable offences under the Summary Offences Act 1988 (NSW) and the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) respectively according to their severity. A summary offence is a less serious matter heard in the Local Court (before a magistrate generally resulting in a bond, fine or a jail sentence of up to two years. By contrast, indictable offences are more serious matters heard at trial in the District Court (most serious offences of manslaughter, murder and aggravated sexual assault being heard in the Supreme Court) following a committal hearing in the Local Court and before a judge and jury.
Offences can be committed against people and property but fundamentally these offences breach the law of the state with sentencing imposed by the state but not necessarily in the interests of the victim. From homicide (murder and manslaughter) to,...
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