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    I feel stupid for asking this but must the AR and MR of an offence coincide in a possible offence. e.g. If you commit the AR of arson in respect of object Z then must you specifically have the mens rea to object Z or could it be to any object generally? Is there a general rule here?

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    I am sorry I cannot give you a specific answer on the English Law because I don't know it. In the rest of Europe with "continental" systems like France, Germany or Italy, the specific mens rea to that specific object is not necessary to configure the crime, in that it's sufficient that you accept in your mind that from your action may come negative consequences for the people involved. For example, if you want to set fire on a building and accept in your mind that from the fire can derive the death of people who are possibly inside, then if they die you may be held responsible of murdering them, as if you had done it willingly.
    I hope I made myself understood, otherwise please disregard the message
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    It is the general principle of coincidence that the AR and MR must coincide in time, but no greater coincidence is needed (Ashworth). So in your example, the AR is fulfilled by the criminal damage by fire (arson) and the MR is satisfied by intent thereto. The AR is not arson 'in respect of object Z' as that is irrelevant. Hence the operation of transferred malice where the MR was directed towards some other object, the one damaged was not intended by the 'malice' (culpability in this sense) but as a fiction it is deemed to transfer to establish liability. See the Court of Crown Cases Reserved (old) cases of Latimer and Pembliton.

    (Original post by dshadow)
    For example, if you want to set fire on a building and accept in your mind that from the fire can derive the death of people who are possibly inside, then if they die you may be held responsible of murdering them, as if you had done it willingly.
    Ah. Interestingly, that is not so in English law. Well not any more at least.
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    Thanks guys!
 
 
 
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