R V G 2003 Case Study

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Caldwell Recklessness is now dead. Discuss the accuracy of this statement in light of the decision in R v G 2003
The facts of the case R v G 2003 is where on the night of 21st to 22nd August 2000 the appellants, then aged eleven and twelve respectively, without their parents’ consent went camping. Early in the morning of the 22nd August they both entered the back yard of the Co-op shop in Newport Pagnell and found bundles of newspapers which they later lit with a lighter they had with them. Each of them threw some lit newspaper under a large plastic wheelie-bin, between which and the wall of the Co-op there was another similar wheelie-bin. After which they left the yard leaving the papers still on fire. As such the newspapers set fire to the first wheelie-bin and spread from it to the next bin to the shop
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The objective test of recklessness was adopted in Caldwell and extended mens rea to include inadvertence. A problem arising out of this approach was that it ran counter to the orthodox subjective approach to mens rea and recklessness was closely similar to that of negligence. Since the defendants give no thought to any risk an issue on appeal to the House Lords, completely challenging the Caldwell ruling, was whether a conviction could be upheld, because of the individuals age and personal characteristics such a risk would not have been obvious to him, even if he had thought about it. Lord Diplock in Caldwell took the view that the accused in that case was morally blameworthy. Lord Diplock extended recklessness by applying an objective test of what a reasonable person would have contemplated in order to bridge the gap between moral blame and legal guilt. In cases where the accused had the capacity to consider the risks and through his or her own conduct didn’t do the Caldwell ruling should be

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