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Mens Rea Notes

GDL Law Notes > GDL Criminal Law Notes

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A more recent version of these Mens Rea notes – written by Cambridge/Bpp/College Of Law students – is available here.

The following is a more accessble plain text extract of the PDF sample above, taken from our GDL Criminal Law Notes. Due to the challenges of extracting text from PDFs, it will have odd formatting:

Criminal: Mens Rea

- Definition of a crime: per DJ Lanham actus reus: required act. mens rea: required state of mind - generally must coincide with actus reus. absence of defence

- Mens Rea: terms. intention recklessness dishonesty: relevant in some property offences knowledge/belief 'malice': meaning depends on context.


- Intention: e.g. Mens Rea for Murder - 'malice aforethought' (but misleading). R v Vickers: intention to kill (express malice) or intention to cause GBH (implied malice). GBH: really serious harm (DPP v Smith) or just serious harm (R v Saunders).

- What does 'intention' mean?
Smith & Hogan: 'direct aim or purpose'. R v Moloney: no elaboration needed in most cases (per Lord Bridge). subjective: what did d. actually intend to do. motive distinguished from intent: motive irrelevant per se. intent: what d. intended to do; motive: why d. intended to do it. Chandler v DPP: individual can intend both their ends and the means through which they will achieve them ?
immediate intent relevant for MR.

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