Criminal liability

Criminal liability guidance:

A person is guilty of attempting to commit an offence if he does an act that is more than preparatory to the commission of the offence, with the intention of committing...

Practice Note

Definition of automatism An act is done in a state of automatism if it is done by the body without control by the mind, (eg it is a spasm or a reflex), or if it is done...

Practice Note

Criminal offences are generally divided into two categories: • conduct crimes, and • result crimes A conduct crime is a crime where only the forbidden conduct needs to be...

Practice Note

There are three main inchoate offences in English law: • conspiracy—where at least two people have agreed to commit a crime • attempt—where the defendant has tried to...

Practice Note

This Practice Note deals with what is meant by corporate liability in relation to criminal law. It covers establishing corporate liability, the identification principle...

Practice Note

Omission A defendant must be shown to have had the relevant mental state of mind or intention at the time that the act comprising offence is committed. The conduct...

Practice Note

Duress by threats Duress by threats provides a complete defence to a charge of any offence other than murder, attempted murder and potentially treason. The defence arises...

Practice Note

Encouraging criminality The common law offence of incitement was abolished as of 1 October 2008, the date on which the Serious Crime Act 2007 (SCA 2007) was brought into...

Practice Note

Intoxication General defences are those which arise from specific characteristics of the defendant or the circumstances of the offence which mean that the prosecution...

Practice Note

This Practice Note is concerned with secondary liability, sometimes called accessory liability: the liability that attaches to parties to a joint enterprise. In criminal...

Practice Note

What is recklessness? In respect of some statutory offences and common law crimes the prosecution are required to prove a mental element of recklessness on the part of...

Practice Note

Self defence Self defence is an absolute defence based on the evidence which can apply in crimes committed by force. Section 76 of the Criminal Justice and Immigration...

Practice Note

Specific intent—definition Offences requiring specific intent are of two kinds: • where the mental element of the offence requires a purposive intent rather than...

Practice Note

Strict liability When an offence does not require proof of a mental element it is an offence of strict liability. There are some common law offences of strict liability...

Practice Note

What is the defence of insanity? Insanity is a common law defence to a criminal charge. A defence of insanity is available in both the magistrates' court and the Crown...

Practice Note

The principle of transferred malice If a person has a malicious intent towards X and, in carrying out that intent, injures Y, he is guilty of an offence. So, if D shoots...

Practice Note

What is vicarious liability? The general principle in criminal law is liability is personal not vicarious. This means that one person cannot be held liable for the crimes...

Practice Note