Essay on No Statutory Definition Of Intention

1992 Words Mar 13th, 2015 8 Pages
Throughout the essay it will be considered whether a statutory definition would be useful in trying to pin down the broad concept of intention, the confusion with law on intention, and whether the flexibility offered by a non-statutory definition is more desirable, by considering mens rea and case law.
It is important to understand first that why it is unsatisfied for the House of Lords to define the meaning of intention.
There is no statutory definition for intention, generally in defined by mens rea and case law. “A person intends a consequence of his act (or omission) if he acts (or fails to act) with the aim or purpose of thereby bringing about that consequence.” (P.70, Card et al., 2014) “The meaning of intention is not found in any statute but in judicial decisions.” (P.11, Yule and Darwent, 2012)

Intention, or mens rea, is the state of mind, the mental element necessary for all serious crimes. A P Simester thinks that it is impossible to look directly into the minds of defendants in order to know whether they had mens rea at the time of the offence. (Simester, 2013) In the definitions of some offences, liability can be based only on intention and it is in these that the question of what is meant in law by intention is of crucial importance. Having a general definition of mens rea, it may be difficult to apply to specific statutes. Also, the terminology in law is unclear to define and encompass all the cases, for example, “malice” means one thing in relation to murder…

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