Advantages And Disadvantages Of Mens Rea

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The mens rea is the mental element of an offence. It refers to the mental state of the accused in terms of the offence. If no mens rea is present the accused cannot be convicted with the exception of absolute or strict liability. In order for a person to be guilty of a specific crime it is expected that the defendant has the necessary mens rea.(4)

‘Intention means the conscious objective or purpose of the accused.’(1) Intention is not the same as motive or desire to achieve a particular result. It falls under direct or oblique intention. Direct is when the accused wanted a specific result and carried out a deliberate act in order to achieve it. Direct intention was explained in Mohan(5), as‘ a decision to …show more content…

It primarily arises where the accused has taken an unjustifiable risk with a little amount of intent behind the consequence of the action. Recklessness can fall under two categories which are objective and subjective recklessness which I shall discuss in more detail later in my essay. Recklessness is an alternative fault for offences including manslaughter, criminal damage and offences against the person.(4) Subjective recklessness is when the accused is aware of the risk but decides to take it anyway such as in R V Cunningham.(6) Objective recklessness is where the accused did not allude to the possibility that there was a risk which would have been obvious to the reasonable …show more content…

I feel that objective recklessness is unnecessarily harsh and unfair. Subjective recklessness ties in more efficiently with the definition of recklessness which I chosen given that it occurs where the accused was aware of the risk but decided to take it anyway unlike objective recklessness where the accused didn’t allude to the possibility that there was a risk which would’ve been obvious to the reasonable man. The term ‘obvious to the reasonable man’ causes much debate alone as there are many different views on what the ‘reasonable man’ could

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