The Nature of Crime
1. Describe the nature of crime
- The meaning of crime
The fundamental role of criminal law is to protect society from those whose behaviour society has deemed to be unacceptable. Another feature of criminal law is the notion that all of society is the victim. Therefore most criminal law cases are brought by the state.
Crime: An act or omission of duty resulting in harm to society that is punishable by the state.
- Most crimes are created via societies morals and ethics.
- Criminal Law includes the following:
- Criminal Trials
- Sanctions and Punishments
- The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) decides whether to prosecute the offender in court, based on sufficient evidence. When the case goes to court, the DPP is known as the Crown. The Crown must prove beyond reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty.
- The elements of crime: mens rea, actus reus
- To be found guilty one must either be proven to have;
- Intended to commit a crime
- Actually committed a crime
- Mens Rea: Guilty mind. The person had an intention to commit a crime (except strict liability). Must be proven that the accused was aware their actions would atleast probably result in a crime. There are 3 levels of Mens Rea: - Intention: clear, malicious intent to commit the crime. - Recklessness: Accused is aware that their actions could lead to a crime but chose to take the risk anyway. - Criminal Negligence: Accused fails to foresee the risk where they should have and so allows the avoidable danger to manifest resulting in a crime.
- Actus Reus: There was an act/physical performance of...
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