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Lecture 5

SSCI 1010U Lecture Notes - Lecture 5: Indictable Offence, Mental Disorder, Exigent Circumstance


School
UOIT
Department
Social-Science
Course Code
SSCI 1010U
Professor
Bruce Curran
Lecture
5

Page:
of 3
Lecture 5 Canadian Legal Systems 02.25.16
Criminal Law
Criminal Law
Public law – public ramifications
Prosecutions by state (Queen), not actual victim
Canadian Criminal Code
oAlso Controlled Drug and Substances Act, Food and Drugs Act, Income Tax Act,
Youth Criminal Justice Act
Crown prosecutors bring case against accused
Crime Evolves
Society’s perceptions change
E.g, changing perceptions regarding marijuana possession
Currently, a criminal offence to possess marijuana for personal use
oDecriminalize?
oLegalize?
Elements of Offence
Actus Reus
oWrongful conduct or actions
Mens Rea
oMental elements
Crown must prove all elements of offence beyond a reasonable doubt
Assault
Section 265 (1)(a) of Criminal Code:
oA person commits an assault when, without the consent of another person, he
applies force intentionally to that other person, directly or indirectly
Crown must prove the following beyond a reasonable doubt:
oAccused applied force (a.r.)
Directly or indirectly
oForce applied to another person (a.r.)
oOther person did not consent (a.r.)
oForce must be applied intentionally (m.r.)
Elements of an Offence: Actus Reus (A Guilty Act)
Failure to act or omission requires positive legal duty
Incomplete offences involves criminal responsibility without full actus reus:
oAttempts
Accused must have taken steps
oConspiracy
Agreement between 2 or more people to carry out offence
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Lecture 5 Canadian Legal Systems 02.25.16
Elements of an Offence: Mens Rea (A Guilty Mind)
Mens rea makes actus reus blameworthy
Different categories
oIntent
intends to commit offence
can foresee the wrongful results
motive ≠ intent
oRecklessness and/or Wilful Blindness
Pays no regard to possible injuries or consequences
Conscious closing of mind to possible injuries or consequences
Persons Charged with an Offence
Principal Offender
Aiding—offered help to offender
Abetting – encouraging offender
Counselling – advises or requests another to commit offence
Accessory after the Fact – helping offender escape detention or capture
Violent Offences: Homicide
Murder – actus reus and mens rea present
o1st degree – death planned and deliberate
o2nd degree – no pre-meditation
oMandatory sentence of life imprisonment
Manslaughter - actus reus present
oVoluntary – intent after adequate provocation
oInvoluntary
no intent to cause death
criminal negligence or commission of another crime
Property Offences
Theft
oActus reus – taking or converting property
oMens rea
Intention to fraudulently deprive a person of their property
No “colour of right”
Break and Enter
oActus reus – illegally entering someone else’s premises
oMens rea – intent to commit indictable offence inside the premises
Other Offences
Against public order – unlawful assemblies, piracy, duels
Terrorism
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Lecture 5 Canadian Legal Systems 02.25.16
Firearms and weapons – possession, trafficking
Sexual offences, offences against a person
Gaming and betting, drug use
Hate crimes
Actus Reus Defences
Automatism – impaired consciousness
oParks attacked parents, claimed he was sleepwalking
Provocation – physical or verbal violence results in loss of self control
oOnly works in murder cases, incomplete defence
ohttp://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/supreme-court-denies-
provocation-defence-in-edmonton-murder-case/article15074110 /
Duress – under threat of imminent bodily harm or death
Necessity – urgent or exigent circumstances required action
oLatimer killed disabled daughter, tried to use necessity
Self-defence – protecting oneself from an unprovoked assault
Mens Rea Defences
Mental disorder
oDisease of the mind
oAccused in incapable…
of appreciating the nature or quality of his act, or
of knowing it is wrong
Intoxication
oUsed for specific intent offences (ulterior level of intent)
Mistake of fact
oErroneous belief that goods you are buying actually belong to the seller
oErroneous belief that deadly force is necessary to preserve one’s life
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