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Western University
Law 2101
Mysty Sybil Clapton

Criminal Law – Lecture 2 Summary M ENS REA 2 components for most criminal offences – actus reus and mens rea, physical and mental Reason for mental element – provides the moral component that justifies punishment General rules: C the mens rea usually has to go to all elements of the actus reus C may also have offences where there is an additional mens rea element beyond A/R C If no m/r word (wilfully, knowingly, etc.) in definition, generally read in C the actus reus and mens rea must coexist (overlap) at some point C Crown has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt, usually does so indirectly by inference Three types of mens rea: 1. Intent/Wilful blindness (highest form of MR) – subjective 2. Recklessness – subjective/objective 3. Criminal negligence – objective 1a. Intention = deliberate conduct, knowledge of circumstances, desired consequences Subjective – what was actually in the accused’s mind Intention does not include: a. remoteness – how likely or unlikely something is to happen b. knowledge of illegality – don’t need to know it’s illegal c. degree of enthusiasm – don’t have to intend eagerly, just intend it d. motive – the reason why you do something while motive need not be proven, it is still a useful factor in a criminal case [Lewis] see Duggan: claimed joke/prank, but still intended to take the canoe so had required intention see Currie for illustration of subjective nature and contrast with wilful blindness 1b. Wilful blindness: accused treated in law as having intention even though really didn’t arises only in special/narrow circumstances accused deliberately shut his eyes because he doesn’t want the knowledge [Sansregret] 2. Recklessness – not good enough if the crime REQUIRES intention has both subjective and objective components C accused foresees the risk (subjective) C unreasonably runs that risk (objective) 3. Criminal negligence is objective similar to tort negligence, which involves conduct falling below that of a reasonable person, but criminal negligence requires a marked departure from that objective standard See Criminal Code, s . 219 – definition: conduct shows wanton or reckless disregard for the lives or safety of others C s. 220 – creates offence of causing death by crim neg C s. 221 – creates offence of causing bodily harm by crim
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