Strict Liability

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  • Created by: Leesy123
  • Created on: 13-05-16 10:54
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  • Strict Liability
    • Starting point
      • requires no mens rea
    • wording of an Act of Parliament
      • did Parliament mean for it to be SL?
        • if mens rea = no SL
          • "intentionally"
          • "recklessly" "knowledge"
          • "malice aforethought"
        • common words for SL
          • "possession" (drugs)
          • "causing" (starving child)
    • presumption of mens rea
      • Courts interpret as SL if expressed or implied it is an SL offence
        • the act is silent
      • Sweet v. Parsley - acquitted of drug charges. Act silent about MR, presumption must apply. NOT STRICT LIABILITY
    • The Gammon Tests
      • 1. Presumption that every criminal offence requires mens rea
        • 2. presumption will be even stronger if the offence is 'truly criminal'.
          • 3.  presumption will be displaced if the Act either clearly says so or the outcome implies it
            • 4. presumption will only be displaced if the issue involves a matter of: social concern, or public safety
              • 5. presumption will only be displaced if it will lead to greater vigilance by the public.
    • Areas of Application
      • 1. ALPHACELL - company's pumps failed and river was polluted - charged with SL and fined £20
      • 2. SMEDLEYS V. BREED - caterpillar found in peas. Charged with SL.
      • 3. R V. WILLIAMS - driving without a license and disqualified - Charged with SL
      • 4. SHAH AND SHAH - staff sold lottery ticket to under 16. Charged with SL under a matter of social concern
      • 5. BLAKE - made a demo tape, didn't know he was broadcasting - Charged with SL as public saferty


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