Published on February 16, 2014
Before we begin… Review: The Meaning of Crime 1. Define “crime” 2. Give an example of a new type of crime 3. Give an example of something which was once a crime, but is no longer a crime 4. Explain why laws relating to crime change over time 5. List the main ways that criminal law is different to civil law
THE ELEMENTS OF CRIME actus reus & mens rea
Before a criminal trial can occur, two fundamental elements of a case must be demonstrated by the DPP Actus reus Latin for „guilty act‟ Physically committing the crime Must be a voluntary act (no duress), BUT can also be a failure to act (esp. when „duty of care‟ Mens rea Latin for „guilty mind‟ Intending to commit the crime Must understand what was happening when the crime was committed, and what the consequences
The three main levels of mens rea are: Intention Recklessness • Clear, malicious • Awareness that or wilful one‟s actions intention to could lead to a commit the crime being crime committed, but • The highest and continuing with most difficult the behaviour level of mens • Intermediate rea to prove level of intent • Prosecution must prove that a „reasonable person‟ would understand Criminal negligence • Failure to foresee the risk when one should have, allowing avoidable danger to occur – usually resulting in harm to or death of another person • Lowest level of intent • Higher standard of proof than
Media Articles Identify actus reus and mens rea in the following articles
Cop Brett McCormick pleads not guilty to reckless conduct over high-speed chase A POLICE officer who rammed into a fleeing offender's vehicle during a high-speed pursuit has pleaded not guilty to reckless conduct. http://www.ne ws.com.au/nat ional/victoria/c op-brettmccormickpleads-notguilty-torecklessconduct-overhighspeedchase/storyfnii5sms12268131870 81 JANUARY 29, 2014 Leading Sen-Constable Brett McCormick, 38, was behind the wheel of a marked police vehicle with his lights flashing on Wellington Rd, Mulgrave when he executed a U-turn and crashed into an oncoming Commodore driven by Aaron Vilbro in January 2012. Vilbro, who later told police he had been recently released from jail, had failed to stop when an unmarked police SS station wagon driven by Sgt Dean Pickering tried to intercept him for speeding and gave chase from Wheelers Hill, a County Court jury heard yesterday. Video evidence from a camera in Sgt Pickering's vehicle of the subsequent pursuit was shown in court and depicted Vilbro's Commodore speeding and continually crossing to the wrong side of the road. Sgt Pickereing used his police radio to update D24 and a pursuit controller as the chase continued and SenConstable McCormick positioned his vehicle in Wellington Rd to prepare to take over the pursuit, the court heard. As the Commodore entered Wellington off Springvale Rd it accelerated and then slowed and SenConstable McCormick's police sedan collided with the right-hand side of Vilbro's vehicle, the jury heard. The court was told police had no policy of ramming cars in order to end a pursuit. When arrested, Vilbro was asked about endangering other drivers and said "it's not my problem", the court was told. He was uninjured in the crash and three other males were in his vehicle Amphetamines and a scale were found in Vilbro's vehicle and he was charged with a range of traffic offences and later pleaded guilty to evading police, the court heard. Defence lawyer Geoffrey Steward said it was "totally rejected and denied by the defence the allegation that Brett McCormick deliberately drove into the car driven by Aaron Vilbro ... although Vilbro was driving in a reckless, dangerous and hoon-like manner." But prosecutor Bill Stougiannos said the Crown alleged "this ramming of the vehicle was an unreasonable act on his (McCormick's) part, an unnecessary action, an unlawful action.“ Sen-Constable McCormick yesterday pleaded not guilty to reckless conduct that may have placed others in danger of serious injury.
Man charged after assaulting paramedic http://www.c anberratime s.com.au/ns w/manchargedafterassaultingparamedic2014020231uh1.html FEBRUARY 2, 2014 A 21-year-old man has been charged after allegedly assaulting a female ambulance paramedic in the city overnight. About 2.20am Sunday, police attached to Operation Simmer were patrolling George Street, Haymarket, when they came across the man who they said was unresponsive and possibly intoxicated. Officers called for assistance from NSW Ambulance, whose paramedics attended a short time later. Police allege that as a female paramedic attempted to treat the man, he struck her in the face and pushed her to the ground, before starting to kick her. Advertisement Police intervened and – after a short struggle – the man was arrested. The paramedic, who has taken time off from work, suffered wrist and back injuries, as well as contusions to her face, a NSW Ambulance spokeswoman said. The Plumpton man was taken to Sydney City Police Station and charged with common assault. He was granted conditional bail to appear before the Downing Centre Local Court on February 24. Operation Simmer, which focuses on Sydney's CBD, Darlinghurst and Kings Cross, is conducted in the city every weekend as part of a summer-long crackdown targeting alcoholrelated crime and anti-social behaviour.
R v Thomas Sam; R v Manju Sam (no. 18)  NSWSC 1003 See p7 of your textbook
Can you think of any examples where mens rea might not be present? Eg: mental illness, age of criminal understanding (doli incompax) Does this help to achieve justice? Your thought s
Essay question Evaluate the extent to which the law balances the rights of victims, offenders and society.
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