Essay on Expansion of Criminal Responsibility in Nsw

895 Words Apr 29th, 2011 4 Pages
The expansion of criminal responsibility has broadened the scope of liability and defences applicable in relation to Offences Against the Person.

Central to this expansion is determining liability through a person's degree of associated knowledge and participation in a crime. In a criminal context, the principal offender is one whose acts or omissions are the most immediate cause of death. The identification of secondary parties depend on judicial interpretation of 'aid, abet, counsel and procure' . To identify these parties, a causal link must be established between them. Accessories before and after the fact are also relevant in determining liability. Defences that deny an accused's associated
…show more content…
All applicants were held liable for murder despite prosecution not being able to identify the principal in the first degree. A defence that could be used by the applicants would be that the risk of the neighbour being murdered as opposed to just physically assaulted was contemplated but genuinely dismissed as negligible.

In McAuliffe, extended common purpose establishes that each participant of a joint criminal enterprise may be held liable for any other crime that falls within the scope of the common purpose that is committed while carrying out that primary criminal venture. In this case, The High Court held that a subjective test applies to determine the common purpose of an arrangement. Once determined, all participants may be held guilty of a crime that falls within the scope of the common purpose no matter what role was played by whom. Withdrawal from a join criminal enterprise is also a contentious issue as what is enough for withdrawal will vary depending on the circumstances of the case.

This concept is controversial and has been described as a 'legal fiction' as secondary participants can be liable for offences without the two basic elements of criminal culpability: mens rea and actus reus.

Accessorial liability arises when there is no agreement to commit a crime among participants but the secondary participant intentionally aids and abets the commission of a crime. In

Related Documents