Responsibility Of The Criminal Law System Essay

1587 Words Aug 31st, 2015 null Page
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 mind” (Herring 2012; Cross 2009). There is an underlying notion of subjective fault that presumes all individuals, with the exception of children and individuals suffering from mental illness, have…

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