Direct Intention In 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
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Oblique is premised on what the accused saw as being the result of their actions however the result may turn out differently. A defendant does not desire the consequence, his aim is something different however his actions have the effect of making the consequence happen. The leading Irish case for oblique intention is People v Douglas and Hayes(2) where the defendants were appealing against their convictions for shooting with intent to kill. Under section 4(2) of the Criminal Justice Act 1964 it states that the ‘accused person shall be presumed to have intended the natural and probable consequences of his conduct; but this presumption may be rebutted.’ This specifically applies to mens rea for murder however the presumption of intent applies to all offences…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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