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Synoptic revision booklet 2012

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  • 1. 2012 Synoptic PaperAttempts Synoptic Paper Revision Guide 2012 Attempts Basic Set Up of the ExamTime: 1 ½ hoursQuestion Synopsis of one of the eight cases in the booklet  What did it decide?One:  How far does this confirm existing law?  How far has the law developed since?  Link to at least one other case and the sources!Question One essay based on a quote from one of the sources, critically  Put the quote into contextTwo evaluating that area of the law  Define and evaluate the development of the area.  Law reform Save this question for last!  Produce a balanced argument.  Link to sources!Question Three problem questions which require application of the law  Locate the definitions in the sourcesThree: to the scenario, explanation and conclusion.  3 critical points in each problem and a relevant case  Conclude
  • 2. 2012 Synoptic PaperAttempts Speed Test (1) Speed Test (2) Identify the sources and line numbers of the following Identify the sources and line numbers of the following1. Where will you find the definition of attempts? 1. Where will you find the definition common law on attempting to do the impossible?2. Which source[s] talk about the problems of mens rea and attempted murder? 2. Identify two sources which discuss the meaning of ‘more than merely preparatory’?3. Where will you find reference to the literal rule? 3. Which sources discusses reform to the current law on attempts?4. Identify two problems with the current law on attempting the impossible , using the sources. 4. Where will you fine the facts of Jones?5. Where will you find reference to the role of the judge in attempts? 5. Where will you find the reason for criminalising attempts?6. Name one case from the sources which overrules an earlier precedent 6. Where will you find reference to the role of the jury in attempts?7. Name one case which follows an earlier precedent. 7. Name one case from the sources which reverses the decision of the lower court.8. Which source discusses the problem of recklessness and attempts? 8. Which two sources mention the case of Guellfer? 9. Which source*s+ discuss the problem of ‘preparatory acts’?9. Where will you find the facts of Whybrow? 10. Identify two problems with the current law on attempts.10. Where will you find the problem of oblique intention in attempts discussed?
  • 3. 2012 Synoptic PaperAttempts Essential Cases For each of the cases below, write in the facts, ratio and area (AR, MR or Impossibility) Then, highlight the current cases only (so you are clear on what’s good law now!) Case Facts Ratio Area? Case Facts Ratio Area?1. Campbell 15. Boyle & Boyle2. Guellfer 16. Eagleton3. Geddes 17. Robinson4. Jones (Kenneth) 18. Stonehouse5. Whybrow 19. Husseyn6. Mohan 20. Davey v Lee7. AG’s Ref No. 3 of 21. Jones (2007) 1992
  • 4. 2012 Synoptic PaperAttempts Case Facts Ratio Area? Case Facts Ratio Case8. Shivpuri 22. Dagnall9. White 23. Anderton v Ryan10. Tosti 24.Bowles & Bowles11. Walker & Hayes 25. AG’s Ref No 1&2 of 197912. Haughton v Smith 26. Khan13. Mason v DPP 27. Crowley & Llewellyn14. Taafe 28. AG’s Ref No.1 of 1992
  • 5. 2012 Synoptic PaperAttempts Summaries of SourcesSource 1: Extract adapted from Criminal Law. Catherine Elliott and FrancesQuinn 7th Edition 2008This source comes from a text book and introduces the reasons behind thecriminalisation of an attempts – explaining that the person who tries to dosomething and fails is just as morally liable as the successful criminal. It also containsthe definition of an attempt and introduces the role of the judge and jury in thecase. Finally, it begins to look at eh phrase ‘more than merely preparatory’ andpoints out that it is difficult to find the line between a preparatory action and anattempt It also introduces the key cases of Campbell, Geddes and Gullefer and pointsout that the decision in Campbell is surprising and that the courts have not alwaysbeen consistent in their use of the test.Source 2: Extract Adapted from the judgement of Bingham CJ in Geddes [1996] 160 JP 697 This source comes from the Court of Appeal and focuses on the meaning of the words ‘more than merely preparatory’. Lord Bingham argues that the actions of D were not MTMP but merely getting ready and so not enough under the Act. He also refers to suppressed evidence at the trial [Nicola Green], which may have been enough to prompt a finding of MTM,P and makes it clear than an attempt will rely on the particular facts of a case (no general rule). He points out that the reason for the appeal is the judge’s ruling that there was evidence that D had done an act which was MTMP, and disagrees with this, reversing the previous decision.Source 3: Extract adapted from the judgment of Taylor LJ in Jones (Kenneth) [1990] 3 All ER 886This judgement from the Court of Appeal focuses on the meaning of more thanmerely preparatory, and how the phrase should be interpreted. Lord Taylor makes itclear that the literal rule is to be used in interpreting the words, and approving theearlier instruction of Lord Lane in Gullefer. Again, the court confirms that when anattempt will begin will depend on the facts of the case, and make it clear that manyof D’s actions here were preparatory. It is only by getting in the car and pulling outthe gun that he becomes liable for the attempted murder.
  • 6. 2012 Synoptic PaperAttempts Source 4: Extract adapted from the judgement of Hilbery LCJ in Whybrow (Arthur George) (1951) Cr. App. R. 141 (CA). This judgment from the Court of Appeal concerns the crime of attempted murder, and what the mens rea should be. Lord Hilbery compares the full and attempted offences, explaining that in the attempt, it is the mens rea which is the principle ingredient and so that is why it requires the higher mens rea (intention to kill only) than the full offence. He also comments that this may make the law illogical as the attempt is treated as more evil than the successful killing.Source 5: Extract adapted from Criminal Law, Alan Reed and Ben Fitzpatrick , 3rd Edition 2006This source focuses on the problem of mens rea and attempts. It proposes that the lawshould change so that the mens rea for the partial offence and the mens rea for the fulloffence are the same. Despite arguing this, it does acknowledge that this would stilllead to oddities, such as someone who only intended GBH being charged withattempted murder. After confirming the approach of the courts to attempted murder,the authors also go on to discuss how the courts have interpreted the meaning of theword ‘intention’ to include not just direct, but oblique and even recklessness. Theyimply that the courts have consistently refused to take one clear approach and insteadcontinued to find ways round the words of the Act, concluding that changing the mensrea to that of the full offence would be a simpler, fairer alternative.Source 6: Extract adapted from Criminal Law Michael Jefferson 9th Edition 2009 This source focuses on attempts to do the impossible. The author begins by summarising the old common law approach and the problem with it – that D still has a clear intent to break the law. It also contains the definition for attempting to do the impossible (lines 9-10). The author points out that the use of the words ‘may be’ in the statute allows the prosecution to not press charges in certain situations. He goes on to discuss the case of Shivpuri and point out that the decision reflects the supremacy of Parliament and the need for the courts to follow what Parliament says. He also points out one major problem: that the current approach means that you can be found guilty of attempting to steal your own property, where the full offence (the theft of your own property) would be impossible to complete and argues that just trusting the CPS not to prosecute is not enough.
  • 7. 2012 Synoptic PaperAttempts What Could Show Up & How to Answer All of this is in addition to the information we covered at the start of this term on the powerpoint!Question One:This is assessed for AO2 and worth 12 marks (+4 AO3 marks). This means that you should spend about 15 minutes onit. This will be based on one of the cases mentioned in the sources, and ask you to consider how it develops the law.There is a lot of detail on them in the sourcesThis means you will need to know what each case in the sources decides, and another case to show how it extendsthe law on the specified area and/ or where it comes from (involuntary manslaughter)These cases are:  R v Campbell (1991)  R v Whybrow (Arthur George) (1951)  R v Guellefer [1990]  R v Mohan [1976]  R v Geddes [1996]  Attorney-General’s Reference (No 3 of 1992)  R v Jones (Kenneth) [1990] [1994]  R v Shivpuri [1987]It is focusing on precedent really (and thus bringing in part of AS Law). It will ask you to consider “the ways which...”or the “extent to which...” or “evaluate the fairness of...”Essentially, you need to say:  What the critical point of law from the case is (using the source)  How far it confirms the prior law  How far it changes the law (with reference to at least one other case). Example Question “Explain the significance to the law on attempts of the case of R v Shivpuri [source 5, line 14+”Examiner’s Tip: Aim to explain three critical points about the case in question, and relating it to a significant case. There aren’t any marks for describing the facts of the case alone!Some sample Questions….1. Briefly explain the importance of R v Gullfer to the development of the law of constructive act manslaughter2. Examine whether the precedent in Attorney Generals’ Ref No. 2 of 1992 lead to justice or injustice.3. Discuss the extent to which the precedent in R v Geddes represents a development in the law on attempts4. Discuss the ways in which Campbell developed the law on attempts.
  • 8. 2012 Synoptic PaperAttemptsQuestion Two:This is the BIG question, and is quite broad in its scope. It is worth 34 marks, which are split between AO1 andAO2. You should aim to spend about 40 minutes on it. You will be given a quote from one of the sources, andasked to do an extended critical comment on the area of the law. This focuses on the limits of the law, andcurrent developments. It should be balanced and reasoned. Really you are looking at whether the developmentof the law has been reasoned and consistent, or subject to change. This means that you need to also know the law beyond the sourcesYou must use the sources and should spend the first 5-10 minutes of answering to annotate the sources, andpick out relevant points. You need to understand exactly what each source is arguing – do they agree? Do theydisagree? What precisely is their argument and how far does this fit with the current approach of the law. Youdon’t need to write them out, just refer to the source number and the line number e.g. source X, line XX.(Vague mentions of the source will attract no marks!)You should treat this as a 50 mark question.It will be a question on attempts, and will use a quotation from one of the sources as a start. You should startyour response by putting this quote into context: what is the source arguing? Why are they arguing it?You will need to look at what the law under the Criminal Attempts Act 1981 is, and the difficulties that thejudges have had in clarifying and interpreting this law.You will need to use a range of quotes from the source, and add your own knowledge to the 8 cases in thesource (in other words look to use about 15+ cases) Example QuestionIn Source One, lines 1-2 the author states that “the criminal law does not punish people just for intending tocommit a crime...”Discuss how accurately the statement above reflects the interpretation of the law on attempts by the courts [34]Examiner’s Tip: Focus on balance and reason in your answer, and make sure to identify the point of the question in your introduction
  • 9. 2012 Synoptic PaperAttempts Potential Question Two Titles:Discuss the argument that with relation to attempts ““the intent becomes the principal ingredient of the crime”[Source 5, line 16]“The criminal law … recognises that conduct aimed at committing an offence may be just as blameworthy if it fails toachieve its purpose as if it had been successful.” *Source 1, Lines 1-3]Discuss how far this statement accurately reflects the approach of the courts to the law on attempts. “The difficulty for the law on attempts is to determine where to draw the line – how far does someone have to gotowards committing an offence before his or her acts become criminal?” Source 1, lines 6-8Analyse the extent to which this statement accurately reflects the development of the law on attempts“It may be said that the law, which is not always logical, is somewhat illogical [in its approach in Attempts].” *Source4 lines 16-17]Discuss how far this statement reflects recent development in the law on attemptsIn Source 5 the authors argue that “if you say that someone is attempting to bring about a result you are saying thathe intends to achieve that result.”[Source 5, Line 8-9]Analyse the extent to which this reflects the development of the law on attempts.The Court of Appeal had another chance to review this area of law ... and appeared to find yet another way toidentify themens rea in attempted crime.” [Source 5, lines 31-33]Evaluate how accurately this statement reflects the development of attempts by the courts“Whether one should be guilty [of an attempt] is a matter of policy, and should not be left to the discretion of theprosecution…” *Source 6, lines 23-4]Discuss how accurately the above statement reflects how judges have developed the law on attempts.
  • 10. 2012 Synoptic PaperAttemptsQuestion 3This will consist of three short problem questions to which you need to identify the relevant aspects of law,and then apply it to the situation. They are very straightforward! It should take you about 30 minutes toanswer. They are worth 30 marks and this is divided up into 10 marks for AO1 and 20 for AO2 Essentially, they are an extended version of the section C questions on G153 Remember that most of the relevant definitions will be the sources Example QuestionDiscuss whether a conviction for attempts would be possible in each of the following situations:Greg and Hans are found in the garden of a house with masks, a torch and screwdrivers in their pockets. Theyadmit they intended to burgle the house. Unfortunately, unknown to them, the house had been knocked downthree days ago.Amir knows his girlfriend has been going out with Blake. Amir plans to disfigure Blake. He buys some acidwhich he intends to throw in Blake’s face and then drives to Blake’s house. As he is about to get out of the car,he sees a police car nearby. Amir immediately drives off.Connor puts some poison in Donna’s drink, intending to kill her. The amount he puts in the drink is insufficientto kill and Donna survivesExaminer’s Tip: You should be able to identify at least three points of application plus a case for each high for marks. e.g. D may be liable for an attempt because by poisoning the drink he is doing an act which is more than merely preparatory as in case Section Three QuestionsDiscuss whether a conviction for attempts is possible in each of the following situations:(a) James thinks that Lewis, a police officer, is out to get him. As a result he decides to try and ‘get’ Lewis first. He confronts him and swings at him, trying to stab him in the chest. He misses. Unknown to James, Lewis is wearing a stab-proof vest. [10](b) Sarah picks up Louise’s bag intending to steal her purse. However, Louise has taken it out and there is only a diamond necklace in there. Sarah puts the bag back. She is charged with attempted theft.(c) Brian wants to burgle the Christmas’ to ensure he has enough presents for his family. He has a lock pick and a hammer on him. PC Steve, who is walking past the house, sees Brian bent over looking at the lock and arrests Brian for attempted burglary.
  • 11. 2012 Synoptic PaperAttemptsDiscuss whether a conviction for attempts is possible in each of the following situations:(a) Dave wants to kill Louise and. He creeps up behind her and takes his hands out of his pockets intending to strangle her, when Simon, who is suspicious, pulls his hands away before he can lift them.(b) Dalvinder bets that his horse, Racing Diamond, will win the local race. After the race has started, he sees that his horse has gone lame and worried about losing his £1000 bet, throws a rock at the leading horses, wanting to confuse and startle them so they throw their jockeys and the race is abandoned. He manages to hit the leading course, but the race continues. He is charged with attempted theft.(c) Valentino escapes from prison. He tries to force open the door to a caravan in the hope of finding something of value but gives up when he sees a policeman, Joe. He is charged with attempted burglaryDiscuss whether a conviction for attempts is possible in each of the following situations:(a) Meg is angry at Steven for cheating on her with her sister. She confronts him at work and fires a gun at him, intending to scare him. She hits him in the knee. She is charged with attempted murder(b) Bernard believes in voodoo. He is angry at Miss Hart who has set him far too much homework and decides to kill her. He creates a voodoo doll, and sticks pins in it, believing that it will have the required effect on Miss Hart.(c) Sebastian and James are rival shop owners who are feuding over customers. Sebastian believes that James is stealing his customers, and fed up, wants to stop James. He decides to throw a lit brick at James’ shop, hoping that the damage will stop him opening. He misses and it bounces off a nearby wall. Unknown to him, James is in the shop taking inventory when he throws the brick at 6.30pm. Sebastian is charged with attempted criminal damage endangering life.
  • 12. 2012 Synoptic PaperAttempts Reforms to the Law on Attempts Source Links: Source 5 lines 44-6; Source 6 lines 4-6Law Commission Consultation on Attempts 2007 What did they  Change to the role of the judge and the jury in attempts. recommend?  Introduction of a new alternative offence of criminal preparation  Allowing prosecution for summary offences and omissions Why did they Some overlap and repetition in the role of the judge and jury was leading to inconsistencies (the recommend it? judge finding there was evidence of MTMP, and the jury disagreeing). The decision of the Court of Appeal in Geddes and Campbell was too narrow and the court too inconsistent (compare to the decision of the court in Tosti and Dagnall), so an alternative offence would ‘capture’ these cases. No logical reason to have an exception for summary offences and omissions, especially as it meant that a person who is stopped from starving their child to death cannot be charged with attempted murder. The changes in the role The judge will decide if there is enough evidence under which a reasonable jury would find that D of judge and jury... did acts or omissions capable of being more than merely preparatory. The role of the jury will then be only to decide whether D did the acts or omissions alleged, not whether they were enough for an attempt. MTMP will become a matter of law, not of fact. Alternative offence... D could be liable for the alternative offence of criminal preparation, which would encompass acts linked to the final offence, but not immediately connected. It would have the same maximum sentence as an attempt and was designed to encompass cases such as Geddes and Campbell. Summary Offences & Would allow prosecution for both of these, which are currently excluded under the Act. For Omissions summary offences, the DPP would have to grant permission and the omissions exception would apply to all offences.The final Law Commission Report 2009 What did they Keep the law as it is, with one small exception – allow murder by omission to be prosecuted in recommend? the future. Appears to be general consensus that the current law works appropriately. Why did they Majority of consultees could not agree on each of the proposals. The murder by omission was the recommend this? only one generally agreed on.
  • 13. 2012 Synoptic PaperAttempts Writing a Model Answer: Explain the significance of R v Campbell [source 1, lines 22-26] to the development of the law on attempts.AO2STRUCTURE:1. INTRODUCTION:Identify the area of law, and the importance of The Court of Appeal allowed D’s appeal quashing his convictionthe case (what was decided and why) for attempted robbery as it alleged that an attempt had yet to be committed [source 1, lines 23-4] as he had yet to enter the post office, and so his acts were not more than merely preparatory, which was the required test under the Criminal Attempts Act 1981 s.1. They confirmed that this was the right test, and the prior tests e.g. Proximity were not necessary. The trial judge had referred to these tests, and so D’s conviction was quashed.2. SECTION ONEHow does the decision link to the preceeding This conclusion may be unfair to the police, who believed that Dlaw? was about to commit a robbery and would seem to hamper theirHow far does/ did it confirm the existing law? powers to protect the public. However, it is consistent with the court’s approach in R v Guellfer which said that the starting point must be the words of the act, and whether D had embarked on the crime proper.3. SECTION TWOHow does this decision reflect changes in the This approach to the law was followed by the Court of Appeal in Rlaw? v Geddes [Source 2, lines 12-14], who confirmed that D must have Do later cases confirm it? moved from planning and preparation to execution or implementation to have met the test under the Act. The Law Commission had proposed a new offence of criminal preparation which would probably have included actions such as Campbell’s and provide a more just outcome.4. CONCLUSIONDid it really change the law? Yes/ No and why. Campbell, therefore, is significant in that it confirms that the judge must focus on the test under the 1981 Act, even though Use the key words of the question. this may make the law on attempts less effective to enforce as the police would have to wait for the defendant to actually try and rob the post office to be liable.
  • 14. 2012 Synoptic PaperAttempts Writing a model answer (2) Discuss whether a conviction for manslaughter is possible in each of the following situations:a) Connor puts some poison in Donna’s drink, intending to kill her. The amount he puts in the drink is insufficient to kill and Donna survives. According to s.1(1) Criminal Attempts Act 1981, D is guilty of an attempt if he intends to do an Act which is more than merely preparatory (Source One, lines 10-13). By putting the poison in the drink, Connor is clearly performing a more than preparatory act as he has “begun to carry out the commission of the offence” (source 2, line 22). This is similar to the case of White, where D was convicted of attempted murder for poisoning his mother’s drink, in spite of the fact that she died of an unrelated heart attack. In addition, under the law as confirmed in Whybrow, where D electrocuted his wife (Source 4, lines 1-7) the mens rea for attempted murder is the intent to kill only. Connor clearly has the mens rea and so appears to be liable. Although the completed offence is impossible, as the amount of poison was not enough to kill, under s. 1(2) of the Act, Connor can still be liable “even though the facts are such that the commission of the offence is impossible. In conclusion, this means that Connor is likely to be liable for the attempted murder of Donna. a) Greg and Hans are found in the garden of a house with masks, a torch and screwdrivers in their pockets. They admit they intended to burgle the house. Unfortunately, unknown to them, the house had been knocked down three days ago. b) Amir knows his girlfriend has been going out with Blake. Amir plans to disfigure Blake. He buys some acid which he intends to throw in Blake’s face and then drives to Blake’s house. As he is about to get out of the car, he sees a police car nearby. Amir immediately drives off.
  • 15. 2012 Synoptic PaperAttempts Writing a model answer (3) 2. In Source One, lines 1-2 the author states that “the criminal law does not punish people just for intending to commit a crime...” Discuss how accurately the statement above reflects the interpretation of the law on attempts by the courts . Section What do I do? AO1 AO2 Source?Introduction Quote into context & key ideas Why do we criminalise attempts?Main AR Key case and general approach How has this been developed by following cases? Are they consistent? Are all offences treated the same? Earlier tests Would they have provided a better alternative? MR Key case and general approach The problem of attempted murder Oblique intent?
  • 16. 2012 Synoptic PaperAttempts Other issues in mens rea for attempts? Recklessness? Conditional intent? Impossible: General approach and key case Previous law: How does this relate to prior approaches? More recent approaches: Reform What are the problems with the current law? What has been proposed? Why? What are the responses?Conclusion Using the quote, link back to approach of the courts
  • 17. 2012 Synoptic PaperAttempts Examiner’s Report from January 2011 Please note that this is not on attempts, but does contain some very useful general notes on approaches to the paper (the skills don’t change!)General CommentsThis was the first sitting of the Criminal Law Special Study unit under the new criminal law theme of InvoluntaryManslaughter which covers the January and June 2011 papers. Again, however, despite the general comments fromthe January and June 2010 reports, and the narrower focus of the paper on a single topic, candidates would havebeen expected to have tackled each question with a greater clarity and structure than was evident. In many cases,this simply did not happen. This is particularly concerning given the following assistance available to candidates: thereduced number of cases from the source materials from which question 1 can be taken than in pre-2010 specialstudy papers; the availability of AO2 in the sources for question 2 and the availability of definitions in the sources foruse in question 3. Centres and candidates are advised to read the Special Study Skills Pointer Guide, available fromthe OCR website, which explains the skills and structure candidates need to know to successfully tackle the paper.Time management continues to be a problem with candidates spending a disproportionate amount of time, inparticular, on question 1. In some extreme cases, candidates would write three or four pages (see below). This is tothe potential detriment of the other two questions, in particular question 2. As stated in previous reports,candidates should be advised to try to work to the mark a minute guidance.Comments on Individual QuestionsQuestion 1*Question 1, in its traditional style, called for an examination of a case from the source materials. Only AO2 and AO3marks are available for this question with the emphasis on evaluation. In order to achieve high marks candidateswere required to identify the critical point arising from the judgment.There was a range of responses and indeed some excellent answers showing full understanding of the skills requiredfor the question and thereby gaining maximum or near maximum marks. Again, despite previous reports explainingthis point, candidates achieving mid-ranking marks continued to lose out on the high marks by failing to address thequestion itself, in this case, the issue of the cases’ ‘significance’. More alarming is, however, the traditional andworrying trend of writing lengthy ‘essay’ type answers for this question. This may be a reflection on, for somecandidates certainly, the inability to write a thorough answer to question 2 and thus the feeling of being obliged towrite everything they know in question 1. Candidates are advised to follow the ‘mark a minute’ rule.Two other points are worth raising with regard to this question. Firstly, the vast majority of responses were able toprovide a linked case. In some responses candidates gave as many as five or six, showing the development of law. Itis important to note that with only 12 AO2 marks available, and candidates being required to explain the key criticalpoint of the case, show development by linking to an appropriate case and address the key word(s) within thequestion, such quantity of linked cases is unlikely to be the best use of a candidate’s time. Secondly, a large numberof candidates (whilst not always required to) used the opportunity to explain other relevant points linked to the caseto such an extent it became an answer based around the linked case(s) as opposed to the key case itself.Question 2*Given the breadth of this topic area and the question asked, it produced varying responses. This question required afocus on a discussion of the difficulties in defining the area of the law and how the judges have developed, or not,the law. The best responses were based therefore on the context of the overarching theme (role of judges, use ofprecedent and the development of law). Each Source contained a wealth of useful information as well as commentthat was useful in answering the question. Most candidates were able to describe and comment on the offence.However, there was a tendency for many candidates to simply rattle through a basic definition of the types withmechanical evaluation. This resulted in many weak responses. Where candidates did discuss the parts of thedefinitions using cases to explain or back up their answers, they did generally gain high AO1 marks. It was interestingto note that many candidates performed better on AO2 than AO1. This seemed due to generally weak or briefdefinitions and the use (or not) of cases for AO1. Generally, evaluation lacked sophistication and direction both tothe question set and the levels of assessment and consequently it became unusual to mark a candidate beyond level3 or 4 for AO2 and for that matter AO1.
  • 18. 2012 Synoptic PaperAttemptsFor AO1, candidates could have secured high marks by providing detailed definitions of the areas of the offenceillustrating them with the numerous cases that support the issue of definitional problems or lack of clarity. There areeight cases in the Criminal Law Special Study Materials so candidates would be expected to consider at least eightwith an expectation to go beyond the Sources to find relevant cases to achieve the level 5 descriptor. It was pleasingto see reference to the various law reform groups’ proposals and consequent detail. Unfortunately many scriptswent into lengthy, detailed descriptions of the proposals to the detriment of the definitions of the current law.As has been stated in previous reports many candidates did refer back to the quotation throughout their response toquestion 2 and where it was done thoughtfully it gained appropriate credit. Unfortunately, in many instances it wasmerely done mechanically without real thought or development of arguments. It is worth noting that whilecandidates should refer to passages from the source materials to enhance their answer little, if any, credit will begiven to the candidate who refers to either an entire source (eg see Source 5) or a large chunk (eg see Source 5 lines2 – 26) as part of their answer.Question 3The application question was, in general, well answered, with many candidates who performed poorly on question 2improving their performance here. Question 3 incorporated the customary three separate small scenarios all worth10 marks based on three separate characters. Candidates should have found the individual questions accessiblesince each concerned different situations analogous with existing case law and in consequence gave the candidate adirection in which to pursue the most appropriate offence the character was likely to be charged with and whether aconviction for the offence was, or was not, possible. For level 5, candidates ought to have included appropriate caseillustration in support of application and also to have focused on the critical points evident in the scenarios. Gooddiscussion of the issues in relation to the most appropriate offence, with a linked case(s) cited in support, togetherwith a correct conclusion would allow a candidate to achieve high AO1 and AO2 marks.The questions attracted good responses, in general, with many able candidates demonstrating both thoroughknowledge and high level application skills whilst weaker scripts showed much more limited evidence of either.Again this is a question where the candidates could have adopted a structured and indeed mechanical approach.This would have gained candidates higher marks. Having identified appropriate offences in each scenario (thedefinitions available in the source materials) it was again the level of understanding and the quality of application ofthe legal principles that was the real discriminator.An alarming trend this series was for candidates to create and discuss alternative scenarios to those in the question,similar to obiter statements in case law.
  • 19. 2012 Synoptic PaperAttempts R v Campbell Ratio Previous Precedent Following Precedent 1991 The Courts should use the R v Guellfer R v Geddes statutory test (MTMP) not the older tests. It’s up to the judge to decide if there is evidence to allow the attempt to go to the jury Mason v DPP Need vagueness in the test. It would not be wise to lay down hard and fast rules D’s conviction was quashedR v Gullefer Ratio Previous Precedent Following Precedent 1990 Lord Lane argued that the R v Eagleton R v Campbell words of the Act were aimed at charting a middle course between the two old tests. In looking at whether D had done an act which is MTMP, they should ask DPP v Stonehouse AG’s Ref 1 of 1992 whether D had embarked (1993) on the crime proper. D had not done more than preparation, as he had not tried to get his money back.R v Geddes Ratio Previous Precedent Following Precedent 1996 When an attempt will begin depends on the facts R v Campbell R v Tosti of any case. In deciding whether D has committed an attempt, ask if he has moved from planning & preparation to R v Jones execution & R v Dagnall implementation. D’s conviction was quashed R v Guellfer as they held that no reasonable jury could decide an attempt has taken place, so judge erred
  • 20. 2012 Synoptic PaperAttempts R v Jones Ratio Previous Cases Following Cases (Kenneth) S.1(1) provides a clear test which should be followed, R v Eagleton R v Geddes 1990 not the previous test of last acts It is a codifying statute and so the earlier tests are no R v Guellfer longer relevant. Mason v DPP D’s conviction was upheld as although he had committed some R v Boyle & Boyle preparatory acts, by getting into the car he was attempting to murder.R v Whybrow Ratio Previous Cases Following Cases The mens rea for (Arthur attempted murder is an R v Bourdon Obiter R v Walker and Hayes intent to kill only.George) 1951 This is because intent is the key element in D’s liability for attempted murder is the intent to kill. Otherwise, D is only liable R v White R v Mohan for wounding with attempt to do GBH. It’s not as illogical as it seems. Despite the error, upheld the conviction as no miscarriage R v Mohan Ratio Previous Cases Following Law 1976 To prove an attempt, D Davey v Lee R v Khan must have a specific intent to commit the crime regardless of the mens rea required by the crime. This means a decision to bring about, so far as it lay Whybrow within his power, the commission of the alleged attempted offence.
  • 21. 2012 Synoptic PaperAttempts Attorney- Ratio Previous Cases Following Cases General’s Intent was only necessary R v Khan Law Commission Report 2009 Reference to the central element of the offence, it was enough(No 3 of 1992) that they were reckless as to the danger to life. Law Commission Consultation Paper [1994] No. 183 2007 Appeal on a point of law following an acquittal. R v Shivpuri Ratio The Act created a new Previous Law Following Law 1986 approach and D could be Haughton v Smith R v Jones found guilty of attempting to do the impossible. Justified as D has done everything in their power to bring about the s.1(2) & (3) Criminal consequences. Attempts Act 1981 In obiter, it may be Crowley & Llewellyn possible to distinguish from Anderton v Ryan the earlier case instead on the grounds of mens rea. Used the Practice st Statement for the 1 time
  • 22. 2012 Synoptic PaperAttempts Finally, an example of an attempts essay. This is not a full marks examples, but it does illustrate the overall approach that you should take. You would of course need to add in links to the source!Criminal law imposes liability on people who form the necessary mens rea for the offence but do not actuallycomplete the actus reus. The current definition of attempts is outlined in the Criminal Attempts Act 1981 whichstates “if a person, with intent, does an act which is more than merely preparatory to the full commission of theoffence they will be guilty of attempting to commit the full offence.” The law of attempts is illustrated in the case ofWhite (1910). The defendant attempted to poison his mother for financial purposes. However, she died before shetook the poison of a heart attack. For public policy issues it is important that the defendant was subject to somecriminal liability because he had the guilty mind and wanted to complete the actus reus. He was found guilty ofattempted murder.Prior to the Criminal Attempts Act 1981 the law on attempts was outlined by common law. The courts used a varietyof tests to determine when somebody was guilty of an attempt. The proximity test was used firstly in Eagleton(1855). The Law Commission favoured this particular test and it said that the person would be guilty of an attempt iftheir acts were “immediately connected” to the offence. This was illustrated in the case of Robinson (1915). Thedefendant was a jeweller who insured his stock and then staged a robbery hoping to claim compensation. He wasfound not guilty – his acts were not “immediately connected” with the offence eg. he had not sent the claim formaway. This result caused much controversy as he had actually intended to commit the crime but did not fullycomplete the actus reus. The test was criticised for being too narrowly interpreted and for being retrospective. Itwas shortly afterwards discredited. The test then became known as the “Rubicon.” This was outlined in Stonehouse(1978) which said a person was guilty of an attempt if he had passed the point of no return and “burnt his boats.”This test was applied in Widdowson (1986) where the defendant wanted to obtain a van on hire using a false name.He was charged with obtaining property be deception. However, his conviction was quashed as he had not sent theform away, he had not “burnt his boats.” This test was also considered unsatisfactory. It was allowing defendants toescape liability even though it was clear they were attempting the offence. This was putting the public and society atrisk.The test then became known as the “series of acts.” This was introduced by Boyle and Boyle (1986). It said thedefendant’s actions should be viewed as a series of acts where the defendant would have gone on to commit a fulloffence if they had not been interrupted. This was applied in Gullefer (1990). The defendant had placed a bet on agreyhound. Seeing it was going to lose he ran onto the track to stop the race. He was found not guilty because it wasimpossible to determine when an act begins and when the merely preparatory stage ends. Instead the courts said anattempt is “where merely preparatory ends and the defendant embarks on the crime proper.” This has discreditedthe series of acts test.The case of Campbell (1991) illustrates that criminal intentions should be punished and if they are not society is putat risk. The defendant was going to rob a post office. The courts said this was not enough for attempted robbery – hewould only be guilty when he entered the post office and approached the counter. This case illustrates the problemwith attempts and how society can be put at risk. The police, in theory, must wait until he enters to gain aconviction. However, this is putting the public at great risk if the defendant is allowed to continue the offence. Thismay result in a death which could otherwise be prevented.The current law on attempt is outlined in the precedents case Geddes (1996). The defendant was in a boy’s toiletarmed with a rope, a knife and a bag. He was charged with false imprisonment. However, he was found not guilty.This created two new tests. Did the defendant move from planning and preparation to implementation andexecution? The approach was applied in Tosti (1997).The test of “more than merely preparatory” is a very risky approach. The stage at which the defendant actuallyattempts a crime is unsatisfactory from a public policy issue. It puts society at risk and if the defendant believes hewill be convicted of an attempt he may as well go on to commit the offence because they possess the samesentence. One option would be to adopt the American sentencing system which gives the defendant half of thesentence. This would mean society would be safer. Another possible reform would be to introduce a withdrawal
  • 23. 2012 Synoptic PaperAttemptsfunction similar to secondary parties. This would allow the defendant to withdraw from an attempt. Currently,because they cannot withdraw they may as well commit the offence which puts society at risk. Some sectors arguethat if you have not completed the actus reus you should not be guilty of an offence. It is also difficult to imposeliability for mens rea because it can not always be discovered. Another criticism is attempting the impossible. Thecase of Shivpuri (1986) allowed this but should defendants be convicted when the crime cannot be committed?In conclusion, those who intend to commit the full offence must be subject to prosecution. If not it puts the public indanger as in Jones (1990). However, it can be argued that if both elements of a crime are not present, a crime hasnot been committed. The current law on attempts is confusing and is rigidly enforced.
  • 24. 2012 Synoptic PaperAttempts

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