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Lecture 4

LAWS 2302 Lecture 4: LAWS 2302: Criminal Law Lecture 4

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LAWS 2302
Mike Smith

Lecture 4 Acts of omission can give rise to actus reas. Mens rea and actus rea is all about liability. Strict liability and absolute liability are more on the quasicriminal side. The types of crimes when we need the mens rea those are called true crime (guilty mind). Strict liability and absolute liability focuses more on actus rea portion of the crime. Strict liability offences: where a defense of due diligence or reasonable care is available for the accused. Doing due diligence or reasonable care means doing everything in their power to prevent the offense from happening, but the offense happens then the accused has a defense. Absolute liability offense: there is no defense available once the actus reas is proven (if they prove they did the conduct or crime then accused is done or liable). Strict liability accused could have a defense where they tried to do due diligence but it just happened. Need to look for if the accused exercised due diligence or reasonable care. Strict and absolute liability offences are more appropriate with traffic offences and other quasicriminal offences. If you see the word shall means absolute offense if you see may then you are dealing with a strict liability offense. R. v. Pingyeun* (pg. 425): Pingyeun is charged with the temperance act (s. 35). He is selling pop drinks from his shop and they find out he has alcohol in the pop so they charge him with s.35 of the temperance act. His defense was that he purchased pop from a whole seller and he did not know that there was alcohol in the pop drinks. Because s.35 of the temperance act has the words shall then the crown only has to establish that there was alcohol on the premise (which there was) so Pingyeun was found guilty and lost at trial and he appealed to the Saskatchewan court of appeal and he lost there too. Attempt: s.24 of the criminal code deals with attempts. An attempt is where an attempt occurs where the action of the accused has been halted or thwarted at some stage before the completion of the act for one or more reasons. So the crown has to prove that the accused is committing the crime and someone halted the act. The
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