Advantages and Disadvantages of Strict Liability Essay

499 WordsDec 30, 20122 Pages
The point of Strict liability was for there to be certain offences and omissions where the mens rea of the crime doesn’t have to be proved (mainly because it was near impossible to prove intent and most people were walking free) and the offence is committed when the actus reus of the crime is complete. Strict Liability covers offences/omissions such as; duty of care when driving and hygiene (correct disposal of waste). Offences of Strict Liability can be seen in cases like Sweet v. Parsley (1970) and Smedleys v. Breed (1974). Such an advantage of Strict Liability is the one for which it was originally made – to stop people getting away without punishment because mens rea couldn’t be proven. With Strict Liability, people who commit the crimes which it influences can be seen to be brought to justice. However this can be seen as a form of injustice because is it fair to blame a person, even when they take all of the reasonable steps to avoid the problem? Another advantage of Strict Liability is that when people are convicted of such an offence the punishments are small, so it’s not as if they are going to spend the rest of their lives in jail, but they are still seen to be punished. This in itself leads to another advantage of Strict Liability because once people know what they did was a crime, their previous dealings with this area of the law should act as a deterrent. On the other hand, some Strict Liability crimes incur a large penalty, one which may be difficult for the average person to pay and there is the obvious chance that the punishment won’t act as a deterrent at all and the offender will go on to re-offend. In addition, another advantage is that because the mens rea of the crime does not have to be proven, it is easier for the court to obtain convictions; but this means that the court proceedings still have to happen, and so the courts have less time to

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