Helpful Hints
  • (1) You can search the entire content of Dean’s by phrase or by individual words. Just type your keywords into the search box and then pull down the search icon on the right and choose the option you need: search by word or by phrase or reset the content.
  • (2) Double click on a word in the content of a definition, and if the word is listed as a keyword in Dean’s, it will look that word up.
  • (3) You can use the search function to help jump the scrolling function. Simply type the first 2-3 letters into the search box then hit enter on your keyboard and the scroll will go to those Keywords that begin with those letters and allow you to scroll from there.

The common law presumes that, unless Parliament indicated otherwise, the appropriate mental element is an unexpressed ingredient of every statutory offence. See the leading case of Sweet v. Parsley (1969) 53 Cr.App.R. 221, 224, [1970] A.C. 132, 148-149: '... there has for centuries been a presumption that Parliament did not intend to make criminals of persons who were in no way blameworthy in what they did. That means that whenever a section is silent as to mens rea there is a presumption that, in order to give effect to the will of Parliament, we must read in words appropriate to require mens rea ... it is firmly established by a host of authorities that mens rea is an essential ingredient of every offence unless some reason can be found for holding that that is not necessary.' 


New York law is instructive. A 'statute defining a crime, unless clearly indicating a legislative intent to impose strict liability, should be construed as defining a crime of mental culpability' (Penal Law § 15.15 [2]). If any material element of an offense lacks a mens rea requirement, it is a strict liability crime (Penal Law § 15.10). Conversely, a crime ...

Register or login to access full content



Professors
Professionals
Students