Attempts Essay

2911 WordsFeb 5, 201312 Pages
Page 1 of 9 ATTEMPTS Section 1(1) of the Criminal Attempts Act 1981 provides that: "If, with intent to commit an offence to which this section applies, a person does an act which is more than merely preparatory to the commission of the offence, he is guilty of attempting to commit the offence." Under s1(4) of the CAA 1981, the CAA 1981 only applies to indictable offences (unless Parliament specifically provides in another statute) The Law Commission published a report “Conspiracy and Attempts” which contains the proposed reform of Attempt. They proposed that the section should be replaced by two distinct offences carrying the same maximum penalty. These offences will be attempt compliment by a new offence of “criminal preparation” A) ACTUS REUS The prosecution must prove that the defendant committed an act which was "more than merely preparatory" to the commission of the substantive offence. This is a question of fact for the jury to decide but the judge must decide whether what was done could amount to an attempt for the purposes of the Act. According to Lord Lane CJ in R v Gullefer (1990), the offence is committed when the merely preparatory acts come to an end and the defendant embarks upon the crime proper. When that is will depend upon the facts in any particular case therefore the actus reus of attempt has to be expressed in general terms. Although there is no judicial decision on the matter, there is general agreement among commentators that, as the law currently stands, an attempt cannot be committed by omission. It is useful to bear in mind that there are broadly two types of attempt. “complete attempts” - There are those attempts where the person has done all that he or she believes is necessary to achieve the intended object but fails for

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