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Complicity Notes

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This is an extract of our Complicity document, which we sell as part of our Criminal Law Notes collection written by the top tier of Oxford students.

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Complicity

Note that this area of law is incredibly hazy and complex. Academics are incredibly divided on what the state of the law is, particularly what is to be said joint enterprise liability in light of Gnango. 4 ways in which you can be party to a crime: Principal (most immediate cause of AR with relevant MR). Innocent agent (person who is most immediate cause of AR but who lacked MR or who had a defence to the crime - not guilty of an offence. Often a principal can commit a crime through the innocent agent). Michael - D left a bottle of poison on the mantelpiece. Her son gave it to V (though she had MR). Son was innocent agent due to age and no MR. Tyler and Price - D thought he was the saviour of the world who had to shoot policemen. He was insane. Person who instigated the offence, however, is the principal offender. NOTE: some crimes cannot be committed through an innocent agent e.g. rape. The person who reasonably believes in consent in the Morgan scenario is guilty of an offence. The person who did the encouraging cannot be the principal because he did not have sex. The AR in murder is causation, which can be caused indirectly. Secondary party/accessory/accomplice (person who aids, abets, counsels, or procures a substantive offence committed by the principle. Accessories and Abettors Act 1861 s.8 for indictable offences. Magistrates' Courts Act 1980 s.44 for summary offences). Principal must have committed an offence (A, B, C, and D) Accessory must have committed AR of being an accessory Accessory needs an MR - very controversial what MR is. Accessory is convicted of the substantive offence: Gianneto: D had either killed or had hired someone to kill his wife. It could not be established which, but if he had acted as an accessory he could still be prosecuted of the murder as a principal. 'Joint enterprise' liability. Three interpretations: Liability of joint principals - two people who both commit the substantive offence, often by virtue of a prior agreement. Seems somewhat pointless, because both are guilty of the substantive offence - not a rule of law.

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