Elements Of Criminal Law Essay

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Criminal law covers the area of crimes and is there to maintain law and order. A crime refers to a breach of one or more rule of law. The society believes that individuals should be held responsible for their actions, especially when those actions constitutes a crime that would endanger the safety of today’s society. In the eye of the law, in order to paint an individual as guilty, the prosecution must prove that the defendant committed an actus reus had mens rea at the same time. Actus reus refers to a guilty act and mens rea means a guilty state of mind. When crimes have been committed, a selection of defenses may be brought into by a defense attorney in order to negate a guilty verdict. In law, it is known that an individual should not be held…show more content…
For example, as seen in Clarke where the defendant left the supermarket which items she didn’t pay for, the judges ruled that in order to use the defense of insanity, the defendant’s powers of reasoning must be impaired; should he merely failed to use those powers, he wouldn’t be able to use the defense. In Clarke, the defendant was said to be ‘absent-minded’ and thus wasn’t able to use the defense of insanity. Another example can be seen in Kemp where the defendant irrationally attacked his wife with a hammer without any motives. It was later discovered that he was suffering from arteriosclerosis which caused a temporary loss of consciousness at the time of the crime. The defendant didn’t want to use the defense of insanity and instead used the defense of automatism. The court rejected it stating that his condition amounted to a disease of the mind. Furthermore, the defence of insanity doesn’t recognize compulsions or ones inability to control their emotions; Professor Ashworth has noted that, “some forms of mental disorder impair practical reasoning and the power of control over
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