The Breach Of The Peace Essay

1676 Words Dec 15th, 2016 7 Pages
As Sarah Christie said in ‘An Introduction to Scots Criminal Law’: “So far as offences against society are concerned, breach of the peace is perhaps the most broadly defined and frequently used” . The courts still refer to Hume’s definition in which he: “considered a breach of the peace to be less than mobbing and rioting but tending to disturb and alarm the neighbourhood.” However, as it is a common-law crime the definition has developed through case law. The main issue in the present case and the one that will be raised to determine whether Gordon Setter has committed a charge of breach of the peace, is the issue that he stood in front of a bulldozer preventing the workmen and other traffic from entering the site. As this is a common-law crime the relevant law comes from cases and judicial precedence. An important case of Smith v Donnelly 2001, brings into Scots law the ‘ conjunctive test’, which is now more commonly used for the definition of breach of the peace. The ‘conjunctive test’ is a test to determine if the “conduct was severe enough to cause alarm to ordinary people and threaten serious disturbance to community” . However, as Sarah Christie further goes on to state: “It is important to remember here that the law does not require proof of actual alarm. All that is required is that the conduct was likely to cause such a reaction should a member of the public happen upon the accused committing a breach of the peace.” The case of Smith v Donnelly is where…

Related Documents