Strict liability 2011 12

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  • 1. Strict Liability
    … an exception to the rules!
    A2 Law 2011-12
    Miss Hart
  • 2. Look at the offences below. Grade them according to their criminality
    1 = least criminal…. 10 the most criminal
    Possession of prohibited substance
    Driving whilst over the limit
    Removing a girl aged under 18 from her father’s possession.
    Selling alcohol to an intoxicated person
    Sex with a 12 year old, who it is believed is over 15
    Failure to adequately inspect meat.
    This means…?
    Now, apply a type of MR to each of them:
    Which do you think the most appropriate and why?
  • 3. Look back at your homework…
    • What have the three cases got in common?
    • 4. Are they all as morally bad as each other?
    • 5. Are they statutory or common law offences?
    • 6. Were they guilty or not? What did the court take into account in deciding this?
    B v DPP 2000 1 All ER 833
    Sweet v Parsley 1970 AC 132
    Callow v Tillstone 1900 64 JP 823
  • 7. So… using that information what can youtell meabout strict liability crimes?
  • 8. Hang on a minute...Things can get worse!!!
    Absolute Liability
    Winzar v CC of Kent
    Larsonneur
  • 9. So what is a strict liability crime?
    A crime which:
    Also known as no fault crimes
    Callow v Tillstone
    How might the MR be taken into account by the court?
    Justified?
  • 10. Development of Strict LiabilityThose funny Victorians!
    What general reason can we come up with for the imposition of strict liability?
    Sherras v De Rutzen
    Woodrow
    Cundy v Le Cocq
  • 11. Common Law…a recent example
    • Why do you think that this is a strict liability offence?
    • 12. What do think is meant by ‘contempt of court’?
  • Where do the offences come from?
    or
  • 13. Common Law?
    The four:
    Public nuisance
    Criminal libel
    Blasphemous libel
    Criminal contempt of court.
    Whitehouse v Gay News 1979
    What problem does this case raise?
    Why might the courts not like the concept of strict liability?
  • 14. Areas covered?
  • 15. Are they justified?
  • 16. On your whiteboards… Find the mistakes.
    Strict liability crimes are very common. To be liable for one you need have no actusreus. Most of them come from the common law and it covers areas such as pollution and food hygiene. Because it requires no fault element, it means that even if D does everything he can to avoid the harm, he is still liable as in Tallow v Tillstone, where the baker was found liable for selling diseased meat, even though he had had a doctor examine it.
    They really started in the Elizabethan era, and were aimed at raising the standards. One of the first cases is Woodrow, where he was charged with possession of cocaine, even though he had forgotten he had any in his pocket.
    In addition, there are some offences which are known as absolute liability offences, where D need have no mensrea or even a voluntary actusreus: these are often known as right place, right time. This is illustrated in Larsonneur, where D, who was from mars, was forcibly deported back to Britain, where she didn’t want to be, but was still found liable under the Aliens Act 1920.
    Strict liability crimes are very common. To be liable for one you need have no mensrea. Most of them come from statute and it covers areas such as pollution and food hygiene. Because it requires no fault element, it means that even if D does everything he can to avoid the harm, he is still liable as in Callow v Tillstone, where the butcher was found liable for selling diseased meat, even though he had had a vet examine it.
    They really started in the Victorian era, and were aimed at raising the standards. One of the first cases is Woodrow, where he was charged with possession of unadulterated tobacco, even though he had forgotten he had any in his pocket.
    In addition, there are some offences which are known as absolute liability offences, where D need have no mensrea or even a voluntary actusreus: these are often known as wrong place wrong time. This is illustrated in Larsonneur, where D, who was from France, was forcibly deported back to Britain, where she didn’t want to be, but was still found liable under the Aliens Act 1920.
  • 17. Plenary:Have you been listening and understanding?
    Name three areas covered by SL
    What is a strict liability crime?
    How might the court take D’s MR into account?
    What is the purpose of a strict liability offence?
    What does ‘quasi-criminal’ mean, and why have the courts invented it?
  • 18. Starter:Look at the definition, and the two cases below. Using what you know of SL which D was liable and why?
    s.55 Offences Against the Person Act 1861
    “Whosoever shall unlawfully take ... any unmarried girl, being under the age of sixteen years, out of the possession and against the will of her father... shall be guilty of a misdemeanour .”
    R v Hibbert 1875
    R v Prince 1875
    D met V in the street, went with her to a house, slept with her and kept her there for a few hours. He then returned her to where they met, and she went home to her father. He thought she was 18, but she was 14.
    D ran away with V, who he thought was 18, but was in fact 13. He knew that she lived with her father.
  • 19. How do we tell if something is a strict liability offence?
    Lord Reid’s rules when interpreting statutes:
    There will always be a presumption of MR in criminal offences.
    Then presumption will be particularly strong iv the offence is ‘truly criminal’.
    This will only be displaced if the statute clearly says so, or it’s clear through it’s implication of effect.
    Even then, it will only be displaced ifit is a matter of social concern; and
    Even then, only if they can show that by making it a SL offence it will lead to greater vigilance, to prevent the commission of the prohibited outcome.
    Gammon v Attorney General of Hong-Kong
  • 20. Understanding?Apply the rules to this case. Is it one of SL or not?
    STATUTE: s.58(2) Medicines Act 1968
    Pharmaceutical Society v Storkwain 1986
    “no person shall sell by retail, or supply in circumstances corresponding to retail sale, a medicinal product of a description, or falling within a class, specified in an order under this section except in accordance with a prescription given by an appropriate practitioner”
    MAXIMUM PENALTY: 2 years imprisonment
  • 21. Other help with interpretation:1. Words!
    There may be a word in the section which implies mensrea.
    e.g. knowingly
  • 22. Other help with interpretation:2. Presumption of MR
    Sweet v Parsley 1970
    Truly Criminal
    or
    Quasi-criminal
    Anyone spot a problem with this approach to interpretation?
  • 23. Other help with interpretation:3. Other sections of the same act
    Licensing Act 1872
    Cundy v Le Cocq
    Sherras v De Rutzen
    What might the problem with this approach?
  • 24. Plenary:Can you use the rules?
    Facts: My Lords, the appellant was tried at Inner London Quarter Sessions on 3 February 1967, on a charge that on 18 November 1966, he had in his possession a substance specified in the Schedule to the Drugs (Prevention of Misuse) Act 1964 namely twenty thousand tablets containing amphetamine sulphate. When stopped by the police he had in his car, inter alia, two packages. His defence was that he believed both packages contained scent. In fact when they were opened in his presence one was found to contain scent and the other to contain these tablets.
    Warner v MPC
    Drugs (Prevention of Misuse) Act 1964 s.1(1)
    “it shall not be lawful for a person to have in his possession’ any of the specified substances unless in specified circumstances”
  • 25.
  • 26. Starter:The Age of ConsentSexual Offences Act 2003
    Consent in fact (though not in law)
    Sex with a 12 year old, who it is believed is over 15
    Should D’s reasonable belief in V’s age be relevant?
    Consent neither in fact nor in law
    Sex with a 14 year old, who it is believed is over 15
  • 27. Consent and Sexual Offences:A strict liability case study
    (i) V aged between 13 and 15
    Key Case
    Historical
    Other cases
    Prince
    B v DPP
    R v K
    Hibbert
    Kumar
    R v S
  • 28. B v DPP 2000
    s.1 Indecency with Children Act 1960
    Look at the section.
    Any MR words?
    Any indications we should imply MR?
    Any indications we should create a SL offence?
    “Any person who commits an act of gross indecency with or towards a child under the age of sixteen, or who incites a child under that age to such an act with him or another, shall be liable on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years, or on summary conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months, to a fine not exceeding £400, or to both”.
  • 29. Consent and Sexual Offences:A strict liability case study
    (ii) V aged under 13
    Sexual Offences Act 2003
    s.5
    Rape of V aged under 13
    s.7
    Sexual Assault of V aged under 13
    s.6
    Assault of V under 13 by penetration
    s.9
    Sexual activity with a child aged under 16
    R v G 2008
  • 30. Before we go any further: Name the case!
    1. A shin(i)er bus I've never seen...
    Are you really (not) sweet 15?
    2. Vet's a strange looking piece of meat... munch... puke.
    3. Does no-one like the French?!
    4. Jesus Christ!
    5. Plans? What plans? Crash!
    6. Weed know nothing if we were teachers...
    7. Pease... cat you see anything in there? I checked!
    8. Not sure blue is my colour boss... cough cough.
    9. Hmm... that parcel smells nice.
    10. I've come to take you away on my noble steed.
    11. Dad? What dad? she's an adult... oops!
  • 31. Can I have a defence please?
    *
    *unless there is one in the Act of Parliament all special for you!
  • 32. Due Diligence:A potential defence
    Means:
    Should you have a defence if you’ve taken all reasonable steps to prevent the illegal action?
    Should we treat criminal and quasi-criminal offences the same?
  • 33. R v Shah & Shah
    DD owned a newsagents. They sold lottery tickets and consistently told their staff and reminded them that they should ask for proof of age from anyone they believed to be under 16. One of DD employees sold a ticket to a boy who was under 16. D1 was in the back room, and D2 was not even on the premises.
    Should they have a defence?
    Why was it not open to them?
  • 34. The exceptions...
    Parliament might put an exception in statute e.g.
    The court might read in a mensrea, which will allow you to argue no ‘reasonable’ mistake e.g.
    s.6 Sexual Offences Act 1959 (as amended)
    B v DPP 2000
    s. 8 & 28 Misuse of Drugs Act 1971
  • 35. AO2: ReformWhat recommendations to changing the law?
    1. All offences have a presumption of MR unless Parliament expressly states otherwise in the act
    2. Introduce a general defence of due diligence to all SL crimes
    3. Forget proving MR at all for conviction, just let the judge take it into account in sentencing. (This would apply to all crimes!)
  • 36. So is strict liability worth it?
    We are looking at the AO2 here… criticism
  • 37. Plenary:On your Post-it write one argument for or against the following statement
    “Strict liability offences are not justified because they impose liability without any real criminal action by the defendant. “
  • 38. Homework
    At the back of your handout are a number of questions relating to an article in A Law Review.
    This publication is available in both schools’ libraries…
    … and is also available on FROG, which all of you have access to.
    Answer all the questions in as much detail as you can for:
    • 13C Monday 18th June 2011
    • 39. 13A Tuesday 19th June 2011
  • Section C Essays
    Jerome owns a riverside hotel. Simon, the barman, is told not to serve intoxicated customers. Simon sells lager to Tony who is clearly very drunk. Part of Simon's job is to clean the drains weekly but he often fails to do this. As a result, toxic chemicals build up in the drains and leak into the river, killing fish. Jerome buys meat which a vet has checked. The meat makes the hotel customers ill. Jerome lets a house a mile away to students. The police raid the house and find that the students are growing cannabis plants.
    Evaluate the accuracy of each of the four statements A, B, C, and D individually, as they apply to the facts in the above scenario.
    Statement A: Jerome commits a strict liability offence when Simon sells lager to Tony.
    Statement B: Jerome does not commit a strict liability offence when the fish die.
    Statement C: Jerome commits a strict liability offence as the house where the students are growing cannabis plants belongs to him.
    Statement D: Jerome does not commit a strict liability offence when customers are ill after eating meat in his hotel.
    Key Information:
    • 20 marks
    • 40. AO2 only (no case names, no facts)
    • 41. Must conclude on truth or falseness of each individual statement
    • 42. 20 marks overall, not 5 marks per statement.
    • 43. Need to know definitions
    • 44. Can answer in bullet points
    • 45. Apply the law to each scenario.
  • What do I mean by this?
    Statement A: Jerome commits a strict liability offence when Simon sells lager to Tony.
    • Strict liability offences only require a voluntary actusreus, which here is selling lager to someone who is already drunk.
    • 46. Simon completes the actusreus when he serves Tony
    • 47. Jerome is the owner and is responsible for making sure that Simon does not break the law, so he is still liable even though he has told him as there is no defence of due diligence in strict liability.
    • 48. Therefore the statement is true.
  • 49. Preparation for the summerBrainstorm that AO1!
    Strict Liability
  • 50. Can you improve an essay?
    Look at the essay you have been given. You are going to mark this, and suggest improvements!
  • 51. Examiner’s comment:
    Do you agree?
    The AO1 content in this script is clearly limited but does show general understanding of the relevant concepts and principles. There is limited citation. Level 2.
    AO1 marks 10
    The AO2 content meets the levels of assessment descriptor for Level 2. Some of the more obvious points are discussed although the quality of the argument is limited, evaluation is hinted at, and tends to be repetitive.
    AO2 marks 8
    There are some errors of spelling and grammar but the material does have a structure and the candidate has at least completed the answer in paragraphs with an introduction and brief conclusion.
    AO3 marks 2
    Total marks 20
  • 52. Plan the essay!Working in pairs or small groups, you are going to complete the plan for your summer essay