Strict Liability Flashcards

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  • Created by: bananaaar
  • Created on: 09-04-15 12:43
What is strict liability?
Mens Rea is not needed for at least one element of a voluntary actus reus.
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What is absolute liability?
No mens rea is required and the actus reus need not be voluntary [Larsonneur] [winzar]
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L, who was French, was ordered to leave the UK but the county she went to deported her. L was found guilty of an offence under the Aliens Order 1920 as she had no leave to land in the UK and she was found there.
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W was taken to hospital because he appeared ill. He was drunk and told to leave, but was later found on a chair in a corridor. The police took W outside and he was convicted of being found drunk on a highway under s12 Licensing Act 1892.
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Why does strict liability exist?
Regulates behaviour, drives up standards, fills necessary gaps with offences that are easy to create - over 3500 exist.
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General principles of strict liability?
Lack of mens rea[Prince] [Hibbert], no need for fault an can be morally blameless [Callow v Tillstone], no defence of due diligence [Harrow v Shah and Shah] No defence of mistake [Cundy v Le Coq] [Sherras v Rutzen]
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P took girl from her father, believing her to be 18 or over. She was under 18, however there was no need for MR. P intended to take girl and liability strict to protect young girls.
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H met a girl aged 14, they had sex, but there was no need for MR. H was convicted as no proof he intended to remove girl from her father even though liability strict as to her age.
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Callow v Tillstone
Butcher convicted of exposing unsound meat for sale. There was no need for fault. Irrelevant that vet passed meat as fit for human consumption.
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[Harrow v Shah and Shah]
Employee sold lottery ticket to child aged 13, mistakenly thinking they were over 16. There was no due diligence. Convictions even though given employees instructions on checking the age before a sale and nothing more could have been done.
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[Cundy v Le Coq]
D charged with selling intoxicating liquor to drunken person. No mistake allowed. Sale proved to have taken place and drunken state could have been observed, even though no obvious evidence of it.
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[Sherraz v De Rutzen]
D's daughter sold alcohol to a constable on duty but no way of knowing due to lack of police armband. The conviction was quashed as nothing the D could have done to prevent offence.
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Common law offences of strict liability?
1. public nuisance 2. criminal libel 3. outraging public decency [Gibson v Sylveire]
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[Gibson v Sylveire]
D created earrings made from freeze dried foetuses for an art exhibition. The point was to comment on abortion but the D's were guilty of outraging public decency as there was no need to prove that their act was intentional/reckless.
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How is the area of law interpreted by judges?
Role of MR [sweet v parsley], Gammon test, wording of an act [Storkwain] [Sherras], Quasi Criminal offences [Alphacell], Strict liability penalties [B v DPP], Area of social concern [Blake], Conflict with HR [G], Easy enforcement [lim Chin Aik]
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What is the Gammon Test?
Although only a Privy council decision and only persuasive, established that: The presumption of MR can be displaced if: this is the clear implication from statute,offence isn't truly criminal, offence of social concern, offence enforce law -vigilanc
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[Sweet v Parsley] (regarding presumption of MR and changing trends)
D rented a farmhouse to students who smoked cannabis, D was charged with management of premises used for smoking cannabis resin. If statutory section is silent on mens rea, need for it is presumed.
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Deviating from building plans was breach of Hong Kong planning laws. Created a new test, that presumption for MR can be displaced in certain situations. The were imprisoned.
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D charged under Medicines Act 1968 with supplying drugs without prescription as it was forged. The relevant section of the statute was silent as to the MR thus strict liability was imposed.
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[Alphacell v Woodward]
Company charged with letting polluted water run into the river. It was an offence even though the company did not know of pollution and had not been negligent as it was a quasi-criminal offence.
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What are quasi-criminal offences?
Many of them are regulatory to increase good behaviour. Not the same as true crimes; examples include the preparation and selling of food, building regulations, licensing regulations and pollution.
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[B v DPP]
D convicted of inciting child under 14 to commit an act of gross indecency. The likelihood of the crime being one of strict liability decreased as the crime was more serious in sentence and stigma.
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D was a DJ convicted of broadcasting without licence. In terms of areas of social concern, there is a need to regulate behaviour and ensure that emergency services are not interrupted.
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[G] 2008 (regarding Human Rights)
D was 15 and had se with a girl aged 12 but he reasonably believed her to be older as she told him she was 15. D was charged with **** of a child under 13. On question of a defence of mistake, the offence was not incompatible with Article 6.
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[Lim Chin Aik v The Queen]
D convicted of remaining in Singapore when prohibited from entering. D had no knowledge of prohibition and not strict liability as offence did not make law more effective, despite easy enforcement.
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D had consensual sex with a boy aged 14 after meeting him at a club where policy was to admit only over 18s. D's conviction was quashed on the basis that honest mistake should be a defence.
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What law reform report is regarding strict liability?
Law Commission 2010 document 'Criminal Liability in Regulatory Contexts'.
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Key proposals from Law Commission Document 2010?
Parliament should state in acts whether the offences are strict liability. Allow a defence of due diligence in all cases. No strict liability offence with custodial sentence.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2


What is absolute liability?


No mens rea is required and the actus reus need not be voluntary [Larsonneur] [winzar]

Card 3




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Card 4




Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5


Why does strict liability exist?


Preview of the front of card 5
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