The Law of Intention, Following the Cases of Woollin [1999] 1 Ac 82 and Matthews [2003] 3 Cr App R 30, Is Now Satisfactorily Defined in the Criminal Law. Essay

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The law of intention, following the cases of Woollin [1999] 1 AC 82 and Matthews [2003] 3 Cr App R 30, is now satisfactorily defined in the criminal law.

Intention, normally means desire to aim at something. However, in criminal law, mens rea known as ‘guilty mine’, it requires two distinguishable intentions which are direct intention as well as oblique intention, and apart from, also recklessness. Direct intention means the consequences of the action is desired specifically, just like murder. Defendant is purposed to achieve the death or the grievous bodily harm (GBH) of the victim R v Mohan [1975]. Oblique intention also known as foresight intent, means the consequence which the defendant is not desired, however, it is going to happen
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Foresight of consequence must not be an intention. It is clear that jury was not entitled to infer intention unless the death or the serious bodily harm was a virtual certainty. Obviously, in the above case, the result which may not be the defendants’ aim at, that is the death of the victim, may not be the defendants’ final willingness. The result may not be the virtually certain result of their actions. Moreover, the defendants even did not realize that the result was not a virtually certain result of their actions, and therefore, they did not intent the result. That is, this case would be another example to explain oblique intention can be said to being satisfactorily defined in the criminal law.

Apart from those examples of oblique intention, the law of intention has also satisfactorily defined in the case of DPP v Smith [1960]. The defendant was asked to drop off from the car after stolen goods. However, he refused to do it and the police jumped onto the bonnet of the car. Defendant drove with high speed in order to get the police off. He swerving from side to side and until the police was thrown and killed. Defendant was convicted of murder (e-lawresources, n.d.). The court held it was clear that he had intent to cause serious bodily harm or even intent to kill. The judge directed the jury that if they are satisfied that GBH