Law Of Attempt Essay

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Attempt is an inchoate offence meaning it became an offence in order to stop criminal acts before they properly occurred. The law of attempt is one of the most contentiously debated topics in criminal law; mainly because the legislation is intolerably unclear and it is often left to the discretion of judges to interpret. The fact that a criminal offence has not yet occurred means that in some situations it is hard to determine whether there was intent to commit the offence and whether the accused’s actions were not ‘merely preparatory’ to the commission of the offence. Other issues have arisen around whether it is proper to punish people who have not yet committed an offence even if they are on their way towards the commission of the offence. …show more content…
The law is legislated in an intolerably unclear way in both respects, leaving it up to the courts to attempt to interpret what really constitutes an ‘attempt’. Despite the efforts of the judiciary through common law, the law of attempt continues to remain the subject of controversy and confusion (Arenson, …show more content…
Parke B, the trial judge, stated that, ‘acts remotely leading towards the commission of the offence are not to be considered as attempts to commit it, but acts immediately connected with it are’. In an extension of his reasoning, Parke B stated that the test is satisfied when the accused has performed the last act dependent on the completion of the subject offence. In R v Robinson, the accused had faked a burglary and robbery of his shop in order to claim the insurance policy. The court reasoned that as the accused had not attempted to claim the insurance then the ‘last act’ test had not been fulfilled according to the ruling from Eagleton and as such the conditions to satisfy attempt had not been satisfied. In R v Stonehouse a similar situation arose where the accused took out a number of life insurance policies and then faked his death and fled to another country. The court, however, agreed with the ruling in Eagleton but did not believe it had been properly applied in Robinson. On appeal, the court concluded that the act of the appellant in faking their own death was ‘sufficiently proximate’ to the commission of the offence even if it was not, in fact, the last act. As such, the conviction was upheld. The court in R v Jones, however, stated that the preparatory stage finishes when the accused begins to embark on the commission of the offence and that the accused

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