Strict Liability

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  • Created by: yiana
  • Created on: 24-11-13 16:36
What are strict liability offences?
Those where the defendant is guilty because they committed the actus reus. There is no need for mens rea.
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What type of offences are usually ones of strict liability?
Regulatory offences, which an ordinary person wouldnt regard as a crime. e.g. speeding and not wearing a seat belt.
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Explain the point of law in Pharmaceutical Society of GB v Storkwain Ltd 1986?
D was charged for supplying drugs without proper prescription under the Medicines Act 1968 even though the prescriptions used had been forged.
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Explain the requirement of actus reus for an offence of strict liability?
It usually has to be proved that the D committed the AR voluntarily. However, there are some exceptions e.g. Larsonneur 1933
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Explain the presumption of mens rea of strict liability offences?
The presumption of mesn rea is required for all criminal offences, but if no mens rea is required for just a part of the offence then it is one of strict liability.
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Describe the case of Prince 1875?
Prince- Prince knew that the girl he took was in the possession of her father, but believed, on reasonable grounds that she was aged 18. The court held that knowledge of the girls age was not required, making this an offence of strict liability.
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Describe the case of Hibbert 1869?
D met a girl aged 14 on the street.They went to another place and had sex. D was acquitted of the offence as D did not know this girl was in the custody of her father. Even though the age was strict liability, mens rea was required for the removal.
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Explain the concept of No Fault?
D is still liable if he voluntarily did the actus reus e.g. sells, even though he is not blameworthy.
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Explain the case that illustrates the No Fault concept?
Callow V Tillstone 1900- A butcher asked a vet to examine a carcass to see if it was fit to be eaten. The vet said yes it was.In fact it wasnt and D was guilty of selling unsound meat. Even though it was not his fault. Still guilty via a SL offence.
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Explain the concept of the No Due Diligence rule?
If an act of parliament does not allow a due dilligence defence, then D will be guilty even though he took all possible care.
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Describe the case that illustrates the Due Dilligence rule?
Harrow LBC v Shah and Shah 1999- Ds' were shop owners and told their staff not to sell lottery tickets to anyone under 16. A ticket was sold to 13 year old. As no mens rea was required both Ds' were guilty.
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Explain the concept of No Defence of Mistake?
The D will still be guilty even though he made a genuine mistake.
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Describe the case of Cundy v Le Cocq 1884?
It illustrates the rule of No Defence of Mistake- D was charged with selling intoxicating liquor to a drunken person. It did not matter if the person didnt seem drunk. The act of the sale made D guilty of an offence.
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What three common law offences are ones of strict liability?
Public nuisance, criminal libel and outraging public decency.
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What is the starting point for courts to identify strict liability offences?
The courts begin by assuming that mens rea is required for an offence.
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What was the principle in Sweet v Parsley?
unless the words of an act make it clear that mens rea is not required, the courts will always start with the presumption of mens rea. The D in this case didnt know the students were smokingdrugs in her house.
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What are the Gammon tests?
Gammon HK ltd v AG for HK- there are 5 key steps to deciding if an offence is one of strict liability.1=presumption of mens rea. 2=the presumption is strong if the offence is truly criminal. 3= the statute must clearly exclude mens rea.
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4= the only situation where this presumption can be displaced is where the act concerns public safety or social concern. 5= If it can be shown to encourage greater vigilance it can be made a strict liability offence.
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What is the rule used when looking at other sections of an act?
If other sections state that mens rea is required but the section being considered does not state this, it is likely that the offence will be held to be one of strict liability.
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What is the rule regarding quasi-criminal offences?
Regulatory crimes (not truly criminal) are more likely to be held to be strict liability offences. E.g. Harrow LBC v Shah and Shah 1999
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Describe some quasi criminal crimes?
selling food, alcohol, building regulations and lottery ticket sales.
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What if the penalty of the offence is imprisonment?
When an offence is punishable by imprisonment, it is less likely that it will be held to be one of strict liability. E.g. B v DPP 2000 (shiner)
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What are the issues of social concern surrounding strict liability offences?
Where the offence involves potential danger to public health, safety or morals then it is more likely to be held to be a strict liability offence. E.g. Blake using a station for wireless telegraphy without a licence.
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Would strict liability promote enforcement of the law?
If it didnt then there is no reason to make the offence a strict liability one.
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What are the justifications for strict liability?
They help protect society by promoting greater care over matters of public safety. It encourages higher standards in such matters as hygiene in processing and selling food. It makes sure that businesses are run properly.
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It provides a sense of fairness. It is easier to enforce as there is no need to prove mens rea. It saves court time as people are more likely to plead guilty, the fact that D is not blameworthy can be taken into account when sentencing.
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What are the arguments against strict liability?
Those who are not blameworthy can still be guilty. Even those who have taken all possible care will be found guilty and can be punished. It draws distinctions between criminal offences and brands some as more acceptabe than others.
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What is social concern, are the jurors judging by different standards each time. Strict liability offences affect the defendant's human rights e.g. presumption of innocence R v G 2008. Crimes that carry social stigma can have an affect on D's life.
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Give some proposals for reform of strict liability?
Parliament should always state whether an offence is strict liability or not. Then there would be no need for the courts to use complicated rules to decide this. Give each offence a defence of due dilligence this would avoid injustices.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

What type of offences are usually ones of strict liability?

Back

Regulatory offences, which an ordinary person wouldnt regard as a crime. e.g. speeding and not wearing a seat belt.

Card 3

Front

Explain the point of law in Pharmaceutical Society of GB v Storkwain Ltd 1986?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

Explain the requirement of actus reus for an offence of strict liability?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

Explain the presumption of mens rea of strict liability offences?

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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