Criminal L1

Criminal L1 - Criminal Law Lecture One Introduction to...

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Criminal Law Lecture One 8/10/07 Introduction to Criminal Law and Criminal Justice Michaelmas term = introduction, general principles, specific offences and defences Context Criminal Law is different to Civil Law. e.g. A lends car to Z, Z refuses to return it. Under civil law the car owner brings action for trespass to goods whereas under criminal law there is a prosecution for theft. Criminal involves public wrongs and public prosecutions with strong procedural protections . A guilty defendant will be subject to punishmen t. The main difference is that public law examines the relationship of the citizen with the state whereas private law seeks to restore the relationship between the parties. Criminal aims to protect the individual from the state e.g. procedures to prevent arbitrary exercise of power. Blame and stigma lead to recognition of a moral wrong and punishment. If someone is found to have a mens rea (guilty mind) then this renders them guilty e.g. recklessness or intention Sources of creating criminal law Statue Law -> most important re. contemporary crimincal law, currently 12,000 criminal offences (3,000 under new labour since 1997). Most are regulatory offences e.g. health and safety and low level regulation of behaviour e.g. ASBOs -> Andrew Ashworth argues that criminal law is a lost cause - diluted Common Law -> original source is from the decisions of judges -ve law of homicide is based on 1700s definition and has not yet been codified e.g. of recent creation of new offences (controversial) n.b. criminal law under immense public pressure to convict! Manley 1933
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Criminal L1 - Criminal Law Lecture One Introduction to...

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