A Strict Liabilty Offence = A voluntary actus reus is required without the need to prove any kind of Mens Rea. (Lord Diplock-Lemon 1979)
Why?- To regulate behaviour and improve standards by easy imprisonment
Pharmaceuticals V Stalkwein (1986)- No mention of mens rea being required in this section of the statute, so courts deemed it one of strict liability.
Usually one of a small prison sentence as not seen as fair to give big sentence without the intention/mental reason for commiting the offence. Almost half of statutes are strict liability (some 3,500), most of which ae quasi-crimes or regulatory. There are only three offences made by common law which are strict liability:
1) Outraging public decency - Gibson & Sylverie (1991)
2) Criminal Libel
3) Public Nuisance
The actus reus can be involuntary and no mens rea required.
Very rare as they are often seen as unfair = 1) Larsonneur (1933) 2) Winzar (1983)
Presumption that Mens rea need only be absent for one actus reus= can be strict liability
Prince (1875)- Guilty for taking from father (had MR) not for the intercourse