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    can anyone know what is the answer to this question or where i can read about cognitive mens rea?

    the law's obsession with cognitive mens rea(involving intention or foresight) is increasingly coming under attack. what should matter is culpability and this should not depend entirely on subjective states of mind. Discuss.
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    way too complicated to discuss here!
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    (Original post by kopert)
    can anyone know what is the answer to this question or where i can read about cognitive mens rea?

    the law's obsession with cognitive mens rea(involving intention or foresight) is increasingly coming under attack. what should matter is culpability and this should not depend entirely on subjective states of mind. Discuss.
    mens rea is state of mind at the time the actus reus (crime) was commited, this can be direct intent, oblique intect, recklesses, or strict liabiltiy
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    lol oblique intent ( type error)
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    (Original post by kopert)
    can anyone know what is the answer to this question or where i can read about cognitive mens rea?

    the law's obsession with cognitive mens rea(involving intention or foresight) is increasingly coming under attack. what should matter is culpability and this should not depend entirely on subjective states of mind. Discuss.
    Ask me again after my i've started my law degree, then i may have some idea haha!!
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    OK you are essentially looking at intent as a whole.

    Lets consider the difference between the crimes of murder, and of gross negligence manslaughter, and just not changing your break lights and causing an accident.

    In example A its clear the mens rea is direct intent, here there is no accident, no mistake. The person did what he did and he knew what he was doing... clear enough.

    Example B, lets say your job was one of maintaining a level crossing and you nipped down to the pub, as a result you didnt lower the crossing and someone died. You may not of intended murder but you did have the foresight to at least suspect someone may be hurt or even killed. This foresight is essential for recklessness. But people will seldom admit they realised it, so sometimes you have to assume it, this is where it starts getting tricky, because they may genuinely not have seen the risk, no matter how obvious.

    Lastly example C, its an example of a strict liability crime, the law says you need to have working break lights, but unless you test them every five minutes you cant be expected to know if one has blown, the level of intent here is so low, you had no desire to kill, no duty to be cautious but there are many cases similr to this which are still crimes. It can be seen as unfair but the alternative would result in much more dangerous roads for example.

    SOOOoooo, the more cognitive mens rea is things such as direct intent, with recklessness falling in the middle and strict liability the lowest extreme. What you must look at is what level should be fair, should the law mark the distinction but also what would happen if we arrested everyone for just having an acciddent, or indeed if we let everyone go unless they told us quite cleary they wanted to kill someone...

    If this doesnt help i can try and make it clearer...
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    You need to read articles on this, full-stop: generically looking at different areas of law won't be sufficient, and it is unlikely that textbooks will be sufficient.

    If you have forgotten how to research articles, go to Westlaw, go to the journals section, search for something like "mens rea" "culpability" and click sort by relevance when the results come up.
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    Ok, that's very broad, but quickly and by no means comprehensively:

    This is looking at Woolin/Nedrick etc cases about Intention/Foresight of virtual certainty etc. Look at people like Andrew Ashworth and Glanville Williams as a start. You might want to do a search on Westlaw for this sort of thing.

    Look at recklessness too -i.e the Caldwell/Cunningham division (i.e. objective/subjective) and the relative merits for each. Again, there's a lot of stuff out there on Westlaw or in any criminal law textbook.

    You need to focus on the arguments for and against subjective/objective approaches -i.e. is it right that everyone should be held to a common standard, or is ACTUAL intention the right way. Commen on cases like Lawrence for instance.

    I guess a mention of defences due to pressure etc might be worthwile -i.e. the argument could be -it would be ok to get rid of subjectivity in the mens rea element if defences such as threats etc could have more weight. Remember the word in the question "culpability"
 
 
 
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