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Showing posts from October, 2019

Battery (Summary)

Battery is a summary offence i.e. an offence that is tried at a magistrate’s courts. It is an offence that in most instances follows an assault. The defendant first verbally abuses or intimidates the victim and soon after carries out his or her threat by resorting to some form of physical violence.
Section 39 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 gives us an idea of the offence. The section reads as follows: –
“Common assault and battery shall be summary offences and a person guilty of either of them shall be liable to a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months, or to both”.
Mens Rea
The mens rea (mental element) for battery is as follows: –
1.An intention to apply unlawful physical force or
2.Reckless as to whether such force is applied or not.
In R v Parmenter (1991) the defendant was convicted on four counts of causing grievous bodily harm to his infant son. The types of injuries included bruises, broken bones and aberrations. The ju…

Assault (Summary)

Assault (a non-fatal offence) is defined as the act of intentionally or recklessly causing the victim to apprehend immediate and unlawful violence i.e. it is an offence that can be committed intentionally or an offence that can be committed without giving due thought to the impact that it would have on the victim (recklessly).

Assault per se does not involve physical contact i.e. the defendant does not have to a lay a finger on the victim. It suffices that the conduct of the defendant (by words or actions) has put the victim in fear of his or her life.

However, in order to successfully convict for assault the prosecution also needs to establish that: -

1.the defendant had sufficient capacity or ability to carry out the threat and

2.the defendant showed a willingness to carry out the threat.

As per s39 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 – Common assault and battery shall be summary offences and a person guilty of either of them shall be liable to a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard s…

Equity Summary

The origins of the law of equity date back to the period just after the Norman conquest of England in 1066. Prior to that the only law that existed, as far as the courts were concerned, was common law, and it strictly adhered to the principle of Stare Decisis, a Roman legacy which established the system of judicial precedent which is based on the principle that like cases should be decided in like manner.
Strict adherence to the doctrine however deprived the law of any sort of flexibility, and it resulted in some unfair decisions, and equity, which in the normal sense of the word means fairness, stepped in to mitigate the harshness and the rigidity of the common law system and to make the law more flexible.
Litigants who were denied justice started petitioning the king and the king would hear their pleas and make a decision based on his conscious, setting aside the common law, if he had to, in that particular instance. Equitable decisions do not create a binding precedent.
In time the nu…