Negligence In Criminal Law

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There are several disagreements over the meaning of negligence, but it can be said to occur when the defendant has behaved in the way in which a reasonable person would not . There exists numerous crimes for which the mens rea is negligence, although some argue negligence should not be classified as a mens rea, where most of these are minor crimes of a regulatory nature . The concept of negligence is undoubtedly complex due to the fact that it is not certain whether it deserves criminal punishment. Whether culpability lies in choosing to act wrongly when having the capacity to do otherwise, or manifests itself in other forms such as carrying out a serious criminal offence regardless of lack of intention, recklessness or knowledge, continues to provoke debate. The arguments for and against the notion that serious criminal offences …show more content…

It can be argued that negligence should never be enough to warrant a sufficiency of culpability for a serious offence when they did not foresee they might bring about the result of the offence. There are various reasons to support the idea that culpability lies in choosing to act wrongly, therefore negligence should not be enough to be convicted of a serious criminal offence. Firstly, in ‘Philosophical Foundations of Criminal Law’ L. Alexander and K. Kessler took the view that an actor is culpable when he exhibits insufficient concern for others . Character theorists may say that a negligent act could indicate a lack of concern for others. This supports the view that negligence implies culpability but Michael Moore presents a good argument where he suggests that a negligent act does not manifest a careless disposition. It may just be an example of an accident or forgetfulness where it is hard not to take risks that may cause harm to others . Therefore, it can be said that negligence should never be enough due to the fact

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