Subjectivism and Objectivism in Criminal Liability
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This paper discusses the philosophies of subjectivism and objectivism as they apply to criminal liability. It begins by defining each philosophy. It then presents examples of past cases and discusses how subjectivism or objectivism applies to them. The paper also looks at the history of British common law and how subjectivism and objectivism came into play in determining guilt or innocence.
From the Paper:"The objective standard is now changing to the subjective. In the case of B. v. the Director of Public Prosecutions (2000) 1 All ER 833, is a recent example of the shift. In B. the defendant is 15 year old boy accused of incitement of a child under 14 to gross indecency. The young man was sitting on a bus next to a 13 year old girl, he repeatedly requested that she perform sexual acts with him, and she refused all of his advances. The original intent of the legislation would make this a strict liability crime, where the mere commission of the offense would incur criminal liability, actus reus. Using the previous standard for specific intent crimes established in Morgan, a reasonable standard would be applied to determine criminal liability of the boy. With the decision in B. the court now has established an objective standard. Lord Steyn in his opinion stated, "There has been a general shift in from objectivism to subjectivism in the branch of the law."
Sample of Sources Used:
- Black, Henry Campbell. Black's Law Dictionary. St. Paul: West Publishing Company, 1979.
- Power, Helen. Sexual offences, strict liability and mistaken belief: B v DPP in the House of Lords. Web Journal of Current Legal Issues (2000) http://webjcli.ncl.ac.uk/index.html accessed January 10, 2007 from <http://webjcli.ncl.ac.uk/2000/issue2/power2.html>
- B. v. Director of Public Prosecutions (2000) 1 All ER 833 www.parliament.the-stationery-office.co.uk accessed January 10, 2007 from <http://www.parliament.the-stationery- office.co.uk/pa/ld199900/ldjudgmt/jd000223/b-1.htm>
- Director of Public Prosecutions v Morgan  2 All ER 347 www.lawteacher.net accessed January 10, 2007 from <http://www.lawteacher.net/Criminal/General%20Defences/Mista ke.htm>
- Regina v. Hasan (2005) UKHL 22 www.parliament.the-stationery-office.co.uk accessed January 10, 2007 from <http://www.parliament.the-stationery- office.co.uk/pa/ld199900/ldjudgmt/jd000223/b-1.htm>
Cite this Term Paper:
Subjectivism and Objectivism in Criminal Liability (2008, February 26) Retrieved April 18, 2014, from http://www.academon.com/term-paper/subjectivism-and-objectivism-in-criminal-liability-101476/
"Subjectivism and Objectivism in Criminal Liability" 26 February 2008. Web. 18 April. 2014. <http://www.academon.com/term-paper/subjectivism-and-objectivism-in-criminal-liability-101476/>