Is The Law Of Inchoate Crimes Now Satisfactory? Essay

2042 Words Aug 15th, 2015 null Page
Is the law relating to inchoate crimes now satisfactory?

Inchoate offences take up a decidedly strange position in the law as they are not punishing crimes, per say, but rather the precursory actions for crimes. There is much debate pertaining to the reasoning and justification behind such policy driven law. That said, the law as it is offers, in some parts, a good system for discouraging crime, however, on the most part, needs change away from over criminalisation in some aspects, excessive and unnecessary breadth in others and plain reform in one.


The Criminal Attempts Act 1981 s.1(1) can aptly be broken down into the constituent actus reus/mens rea parts. Thus, reference to ‘intent to commit an offence’ is seen to be the requisite mens rea and ‘more than merely preparatory’ the actus reus. Attempts, compared to the other inchoate offences, suggest, by their very nature, a more practical act. It is with this understanding that of the three aforementioned types of inchoate offences, attempts are the most morally culpable. Rather than mere thought, the defendants in such cases have themselves reached a point at which they tried to commit a statutory criminal offence, but for whatever reason, failed. This said, inchoate offences do not necessarily have to refer to failed crimes, however, when attempts succeed, it would seem pedantic to try someone for both an attempt and fully committed criminal activity. With reference to the recurring argument of over…

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