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Philosophy 2080
James Hildebrand

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CRIMINAL LAW DEFENCES DRUNKENNESS R v Daviault y Leary was charged with rape Drunkenness is no defence to a charge of this sory Rape was a crime of general intent and that in such a crime the mental element could not be negated by drunkenness Selfinduced intoxication should not be used as a means of avoiding criminal liability for offences requiring only a general intenty Those who appose the decision to contend that illogically imputing to him liability for a crime committed when he was drunk y The accused might as a result of his drinking be in a state similar to automatism and thus completely unaware of his actions y Juries would not acquit unless there was a clear evidence that the drunkenness was of such a severity that they had a reasonable doubt as to whether the accused was even aware that he had committed the prohibited act THE OCONNOR CASE y OConnor was seen removing a map holder and a knife from a car A police officer saw him identified himself and asked why he had taken the articles Ran away with the officer in pursuit O Connor stabbed the officer with the knife Charged with theft of the map holder knife and wounding with intent to inflict grievous bodily harm Consumed alcohol and car sickness tablets before these events and stated that he had no memory either or taking anything from the car or of his subsequent arrest O Connor was acquitted on the charges of theft and wounding with intent and convicted of the included offence of unlawful woundingy All offences requiring proof of a mental element evidence of intoxication whether self induced or not were relevant and admissible in determining whether the requisite mental element was presentALTERNATIVE OPTIONS y Two categories of offences Those requiring a specific intent and others which call for nothing more than a general intent y Requisite mental element or mens rea cannot necessarily be inferred from the physical act or actus reus when the very voluntariness or consciousness of that act may be put in question by the extreme intoxication of the accusedy The consumption of alcohol is not the cause of the crime A person intending to drink cannot be said to be intending to commit a sexual assault
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