Individualised Responsibility In Criminal Justice

Individualised responsibility is a particular model of responsibility found within the criminal law that aims to punish an individual for their own acts. The model of individualised responsibility is composed of certain principles of criminal responsibility, such as subjective fault and the principle of conduct. The particular model, however, is often subjected to criticism as it does not reflect the current understanding of human behaviour and has a different attitude to how responsibility should be judged. This essay will explain how individualised responsibility is reflected in two core principles of criminal responsibility, while critically discussing whether it provides an effective basis for the criminal law system.
One recommendation will also be made on an alternative model of responsibility for the criminal law system that can provide a just and effective method.

A core principle of criminal responsibility that embodies aspects of individualised responsibility is subjective fault. Subjective fault, known as the mental fault element of a crime and linked to mens rea, distinguishes whether the individual had a clear state of mind and understood the consequence of his or her actions when committing an offence. This would then result in the individual possessing a “guilty
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The benefit of this is that the criminal is punished instead of the crime as it draws focus to the individual’s actions and their mental state at the time the offence was committed. Although the model of individual responsibility has been criticised by the science community for their beliefs on free will and human behaviour not reflecting the current research, the model is an effective and just model that can deliver justice correctly. If, however the model does not deliver the wanted results, an alternative model to use is strict liability, as it punishes offenders in a swift and proficient

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