Criminal Law Essay

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INTRODUCTION Various people and institutions concerned with children welfare have cited neglect as having hazardous effects on a child’s mental and physical development. Consequently, there has been various calls for concerted efforts to prevent or at least minimize all sort of child abuse, ill-treatment and neglectful behaviour. Wilful child neglect is the most common form of child cruelty in Zambia because of the extended family system of livelihood, it has been reported that too many children experience chronic neglect throughout large parts of their childhood and do not get the help they need when the mostly need it. The severe impact of neglect upon children and vulnerable adults well being and development is significantly evidence by the rapid growth of street kids in Zambia resulting from neglect of persons who usually have children from unwanted pregnancies, poverty, alcohol above and high fertility rate. To this effect, this essay will discuss the essential elements (actus reus and mens rea) in thew offence of wilful neglect of a child or vulnerable adult in order to secure a conviction by the prosecution by exploring the Zambian case law and other relevant common law Jurisdictions. THE CONCEPT OF WILFUL NEGLECT There is a lack of consistency in law neglect is defined by authors and statutes or Acts, several definitions have been proposed mostly common they emphasis the fact that a child’s basic developmental needs have not been provided by acts of omission by those responsible for that child or vulnerable adult. Lord Russel considered the meaning of the wilfully as the act done desiberately and intentionally not by accident or inadvertence, but so that the mind of the person who does the act goes with it. While in plain language has been defined interms of an omission, where the person sufers significant harm or impairment of development by being

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