Criminal Law (Mods)
The course deals with the following: (i) General principles of criminal liability: actus reus and mens rea, omissions, causation, negligence, strict liability, complicity and inchoate offences. (ii) General defences. (iii) The law relating to offences against the person (including sexual offences) and offences against property and other economic interests.
The subject requires attention to cases and statutes, and is an important bridge to subjects studied for the Final Honour School, in particular the opportunity it provides to study problem questions. It is hoped that students will find it interesting for its intellectual challenge, as well as for the colourful material.
The subject comprises the following topics:
1. General principles of criminal liability: actus reus (including liability for omissions); mens rea (including different kinds of fault, such as intention, negligence, strict liability); causation.
2. General defences to criminal liability.
3. Liability as a party to a crime, including participation as a principal and secondary participation (including ‘joint enterprise’). Questions will not be set on sections 4 or 5 of the Criminal Law Act 1967 (assisting offenders after the fact and compounding offences).
4. Liability for the inchoate offences of statutory conspiracy, attempt and the offences created by sections 44, 45 and 46 of the Serious Crime Act 2007.
5. Liability for the following kinds of homicide: murder; manslaughter (excluding corporate manslaughter). No question will be set requiring knowledge of infanticide or of encouraging or assisting suicide.
6. Liability for the offences created by sections 1, 2 and 3 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003. Candidates will be expected to know of the existence of the other offences created by that Act.
7. Liability for the following offences: common assault and common battery; the offences created by the following sections of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861: 16, 18, 20, 23, 24, 47.
8. Liability for the following offences: the offences created by the Criminal Damage Act 1971 sections 1-3; the offences created by the Theft Act 1968, sections 1, 8 and 9; and the offences created by the Fraud Act 2006, sections 1-4. Candidates will be expected to know of the existence of the offences created by sections 12, 21, 22 and 25 of the Theft Act 1968 and section 3 of the Theft Act 1978.
NB Second BA students taking Criminal law study a slightly different syllabus and should refer to the FHS Handbook for details of what that syllabus covers.
Examiners may set questions on all the topics listed above. In every case, candidates are expected to have knowledge of the statutory provisions and case law relevant to the interpretation of the examinable offences
A general understanding of the principles and theory of criminal law and a specific knowledge of criminal liability for the offences listed above. An ability to demonstrate this knowledge in both essays and problem questions.