Criminal Liability Essay

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Criminal Liability “In a just society criminal liability should never be imposed without some degree of blameworthiness” Offences of strict liability are those, which do not require any mens rea with regards to at least one or more of the actus rea. The mens rea usually requires intention and or recklessness. However some crimes are possible to commit without any knowledge, intention or responsibility on behalf of the defendant. Therefore the primary issue is should these defendants be guilty and held liable for these crimes under strict liability. In Gammon (Hong Kong) ltd v Attorney General (Hong…show more content…
Even with offences surrounding issues of social concern mens rea is still expected unless it can be argued that by making a person liable through strict liability would increase the vigilance of others to prevent the commission of the prohibited act. Strict liability is a delicate area for many judges and disagreement lies as to whether there needs to be some sort of reform, the argument can be debated as follows; Strict liability allows a prosecution to be brought in many difficult cases as it is very difficult in some cases to prove any form of mens rea and in order to maintain standards the courts sometimes have to resort to delegated principles. The Privy Council said that as well as keeping high standards strict liability can be necessary ‘to encourage greater vigilance to prevent the commission of the prohibited act”. Food manufacturer, builders, doctors must realise they have to keep to the highest standards or face possible prosecution. Therefore strict liability is acting as more of a deterrent and warning for others than a punishment for the defendants, who may not themselves, have committed an offence. Using strict liability as a deterrent for other people and making the general public more attentive may help to stop similar incidents occurring in the
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