Difference between revisions of "Introduction to Extending Criminal Liability"

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Complicity is a doctrine which extends liability to a party who did not perform the actus reus of the crime. This article deals with two of the doctrines of complicity: joint criminal enterprise and extended joint criminal enterprise.  
 
Complicity is a doctrine which extends liability to a party who did not perform the actus reus of the crime. This article deals with two of the doctrines of complicity: joint criminal enterprise and extended joint criminal enterprise.  
  
{{criminal law 2 header|985-1010}}
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{{criminal law 2 header|985-986}}
  
 
== Introduction ==  
 
== Introduction ==  

Latest revision as of 00:01, 28 October 2012

Complicity is a doctrine which extends liability to a party who did not perform the actus reus of the crime. This article deals with two of the doctrines of complicity: joint criminal enterprise and extended joint criminal enterprise.

This article is a topic within the subject Criminal Laws.

Contents

[edit] Required Reading

Brown et al, Criminal Laws: Materials and Commentary on Criminal Law and Process in New South Wales, (5th edition, Federation Press, 2011), pp. 985-986.

[edit] Introduction

[1] Most crimes are committed by a group of people, different people of which have different amounts of participation/responsibility. Accordingly, the criminal law has different doctrine to recognise and attribute criminal responsibility when a crime is the result of a group activity.

  • These are known as ‘complicity law’ and provide a basis of criminal liability of a person by reference to their association with a crime committed by someone else.
  • For some offences (eg, conspiracy) association alone is enough for to make a person guilty of an offence, because of the risk that individuals will engage in future criminal activity.
  • Offences based on mere association without any requirement to prove a specific criminal offence has been committed or even planned (eg, consorting with known criminals) are even more controversial offences.

[edit] Complicity

[2] “Complicity” is not an offence as such, it refers to a set of principles which extend liability from a person/s who actually committed the actus reus to others who were in some way a part of the crime but did not actually carry out the actus reus. Complicity exists in three circumstances:

  1. Joint criminal enterprise: this is where two or more persons agreed to commit the offence, which was then carried out by only some of the persons.
    • All will be held equally responsible for the actions of the others, as 'principals in the first degree'.
    • Sometimes referred to as “acting in concert”.
  2. Extended joint criminal enterprise: this is where there was a joint criminal enterprise to commit an offence, and during that commission, one person commits an additional crime which was not agreed upon.
    • The others may nevertheless be held liable for the other crime if they contemplated that such a result might possibly occur.
  3. Accessorial liability: this is either where a person provides assistance or encouragement before the crime ('accessory before the fact') or a person who provides assistance or encouragement at the scene of the crime ('principal in the second degree').
    • This results in derivative liability, meaning that they will only be liable if the primary offender is found guilty.

In each of these circumstances a different set of rules applies, although they are seemingly overlapping and are very confusing. Click on the links for further information.

[edit] End

This is the end of this topic. Click here to go back to the main subject page for Criminal Laws.

[edit] References

Textbook refers to Brown et al, Criminal Laws: Materials and Commentary on Criminal Law and Process in New South Wales, (5th edition, Federation Press, 2011).

  1. Textbook, pp. 985.
  2. Textbook, pp. 985-6.
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