Legal Studies Essay

Submitted By SantiagoMunez26
Words: 6128
Pages: 25

Part One: Crime

The nature of crime
The meaning of crime
Crime is an act or omission committed against the community at large that is punishable by the state. Crimes are made as a result of moral and ethical judgments by a society. They also vary from state to state e.g. in Australia it is legal for sex outside of marriage and the consumption of alcohol whilst in other countries it’s not.

A crime is any conduct which violates the rights of the community at large. The crime will be punishable by a recognised criminal sanction upon proof of guilt in a criminal proceeding initiated and presented by officers of the crown or its agencies.

A crime can be defined as any act or omission of duty that results in harm to society as a whole and which is punishable by the state. For the reason that a crime is against society as a whole, crimes are prosecuted by the state, i.e. it is not the role of the victim to prosecute the person(s) committing the crime. Accordingly, criminal cases in Australia are reported as R v Jones….with the R standing for Regina (Latin for Queen, representing the Crown and therefore the state) and Jones being the accused.

The elements of crime: actus reus and mens rea The elements of a crime are acts or omissions that mostly involve crimes against a person. E.g. manslaughter. Actus Reus and mens rea are two fundamental elements applicable to most offences. Actus Reus is that the Accused person actually committed the crime or causation. Mens rea is that the accused person sufficiently Intended to commit the crime. ACTUS REUS; the role of the prosecutor is to prove that the accused did in fact carry out the crime, or the Relevant act required for the crime. The prosecutor can prove actus Reus by providing physical evidence and Witness testimonies. This element is often easiest element for the prosecution to prove. The actus Reus has to Be a voluntary act or failure to act, which can include cases of negligence (meaning that the accused failed to To take action when they had the duty to do so). MENS REA: the prosecutor, in order to succussed they must prove to a certain degree (intention, recklessness, Negligence) that the defendant intended to commit the crime. Mens rea can be understand on two levels, One is that the defendant understood what was happening when they committed the act. The second Understanding is the conscious and willing mind was present in performing a crime. The degree of intention Required to prove a crime will be specified in the legislation. The three main levels of Mens rea are; INTENTION; a clear or wilful intention to commit the crime. Recklessness: the accused was aware that their action could lead to a crime, but continue to proceed anyway. Recklessness also includes unable to make a sensible decision which lead to the harm of others. CRIMINAL NEGLIGENCE: where the accused fails to foresee he rick where they should have and so allows the Avoidable danger to manifest. The accused will usually have a duty to protect. An example of a case involving Criminal negligence is R v Thomas Sam; R v menjiou Sam [2009] NswSc 1003 In this case, a father and mother were charged with manslaughter by Criminal negligence. The parents had rejected treatment to their daughter for an illness that was treatable With proper medical help.

In order for a prosecutor to be convicted the state must prove the existence of elements of crime to the requisite criminal standard of proof (beyond reasonable doubt in criminal). The accused must have committed both; actus Reus and mens rea. Actus Reus refers to the action of the accused that is that the accused actually committed the crime. While Mens rea is the mental state of the accused, which is the intent of the