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Criminal Law

Table of Contents




Introduction to Criminal Law

R v G [2003] is considered to be an English criminal law in the context to which various offenses that rule on reckless damage. It is held in a way that the prosecution must be instrumental in showing a subjectively an existing form of risk that is appreciated and also existing. Furthermore, this law tends to go in the direction of existing health or property related issues with some other harmful consequences associated with risk-taking. Other than that it is carried as per the circumstances in the direction of knowing it unreasonably. To this latter thought stage, an objective test is mandatory as it continues in the direction of applying while undertaking some risk (, 1971). 

Discussion on Criminal Law

The general state law is important and is further certified through the Court of Appeal. It is under the direction of getting involved in its decision making procedure in the present case as expressed in a below-mentioned way (Oghbaee, 2019):

“Is it possible for a defendant to be convicted properly under the influence of section 1 associated with 1971's Criminal Damage Act based on which the convict was reckless. It was in the direction of deciding on the question that whether the mentioned property was destroyed or damaged. It was the time he gave no thought in the direction of the risking. On the other hand, it was done because of his age or can be considered as a personal characteristic. The risk wouldn't be been obvious in the direction of him, even though he thought about it?”

The appeals refer to the "reckless" definition in this section and address the House that ruled during the case of 1982, R v Caldwell AC 341 (, 1982). It further affirmed the ruling in context to House later, during making further decisions. The House was asked in the direction of reconsidering their ruling (, 1971).

Prior to the direction of R v G’s case, two approaches were there to deal with recklessness. The R v Cunningham’s case was the first, interpreting recklessness in a way where the defendant foresees harms and yet continues. Even malicious got replaced with recklessness term as well as a statute described under 1971’s Criminal Damage Act (Robinson et al. 2019). Recklessness definition clarified cases following Cunningham like those of the Briggs as well as Parker, or Stephenson. The damage foresight refers to an all-inclusive need as well as knowledge associated with risk appreciation as entered in mind of the defendant's (, 1957). This subjective test failed many times due to the defendant’s probability of convicted as guilty through an impassive disregard in other’s context, which may get overlooked. A risk of acceptance on the part of the jury is that it agrees with the fact that the defendant didn’t foresee the risk. They may be or may not acquit them even during an intentional act of the defendant (Ciobanu, 2016).

The MPC v Caldwell’s case mentioned in the second approach interprets objective recklessness. Lord Diplock was in a view that the defendant is convicted with reckless when he engages himself/herself in the act of damaging property or indulges in similar threatening acts. While involved he does not care to recognize the risk and continued to break the law. Caldwell’s decision faces criticism on the grounds of any real unintentional act on the part of defendants genuinely unable to foresee that risk. Ibbetson criticizing Caldwell stated that there has been an unprincipled distinction that lies in between criminal damages as well as offenses. As the person’s committing unjust results especially in the defendant or is a child or maybe uneducated. Considering the assertion as true, Caldwell’s decision aimed in the direction of addressing the context of the problems in the 1970’s criminal law (, 1982).

Simply agreed on facts in context to the case happened in 2000, 21st – 22nd Augusts’ night the appellants, at that moment was aged 11 as well as 12, went camping without parents' permission. On 22nd Augusts’ morning, in Newport Pagnell, they got into a small Co-op shop and found newspaper bundles. They opened them up in the direction of reading. They even lit some newspapers throwing them into a wheelie plastic bin and left the papers burning. All newspapers were set in the fire from first wheelie-bin and the fire spread from there on to all of the shop. It was the second bin from which the fire spread at an overhanging eave. The fire spread all across the shop’s space eventually reaching the roof, and then it followed the adjoining buildings that also caught fire. An approx of £1million worth caused during this damage. The appellants' case at trial was represented in a way that they were trying to put-up the newspaper fires on the concrete yard’s floor. As accepted that they appreciated the fact that they did not know the involvement of a risk factor whenever the fire spread in the direction of letting the accident happen (Ormerod and Laird, 2014).

The indictment against the appellants was filed charging them with arson it is contrary in the direction of section 1(1) as well as (3) associated in the direction of 1971’s Criminal Damage Act. The offense was charged on 22nd Aug’2000 "without any proper lawful excuse in regards to the damages as made by the outbreak of a fire within the commercial premises that belongs in the direction of others being reckless as in deciding that, whether these properties will be damaged or not" (, 2003).

As per the provisions of the 1971 Act, Section 1 provides (, 1971):

"1. (1) A person shall be convicted with the offense who tries to destroys or damages any public or private property without lawful excuses and being reckless in the direction of destroyed or damaging property.

(2) A person destroys or intends to damage any available property (belonging to him or the other) without the consent of the law

(a) Intending to destroy or even damage property by being reckless

(b) Intending to damage or by being reckless hence endangering other’s lives and related properties should be held guilty of this offense.

(3) An offense committed using fire refers to charging of the convicts under criminal arson."

As mentioned in the Act's Section 4(1) it tends to consider a person as guilty of arson as per SEC 1 shall be on indictment held liable in the direction of imprisonment in context to life.

As per, Lord Bingham the rules in Caldwell led in the direction of obvious unfairness, especially when the defendant’s capacity in the direction of appreciating risk is inferior. It was further in the direction of others as well. The HL, whilst not overruling the decision in Caldwell, reinstated the law as interpreted prior to 1982 with the Cunningham test. A "reckless" person is the one who foresees a risk, goes in the direction of taking an unreasonable risk. The test in context to recklessness as used by the HL reverts in the direction of the drafting of criminal coding with a difference in subjective test number as used by Cunningham (, 1957).

Firstly Cunningham refers in the direction of taking risks in context to avail of some results without mentioning circumstances. Additionally, adding of draft code directs a restriction in which the defendant's ability to undertake risk is unreasonable. Another case reveals that In the case of R v Faulkner (1877) 13 Cox 550, the Irish Court decided as per Reserved Crown Cases. The defendant set fire on the ship while attempting to get intoxicated by stealing rum from hold and was boring a hole through candlelight letting to the spilled out of some rum that got ignited (, 1877).

In R v G’s case, court appeals for “recklessness” definition in the direction of several cases related to voluntary intoxication’s direction in which the defendant based on his/her's risk foresight during intoxication isn’t investigated. The court was only concerned with the soberness of the defendant if not would notice risking during acting. The court was instrumental in upholding in Booth vs CPS’s case with the conviction that the defendant was found to be drunk as well as stepped out of the car’s way that caused a collision as well as damage of £517. The rule was regardless of the drunken defendant, as he stopped thinking in the direction of the risk. Regardless of the fact that the rules laid down in context to the application, this particular case, tend to stay within the limits of the objective in regards to foresight’s direction (, 2006).

Conclusion on Criminal Law

Within the criminal law, there are certain issues arising out of recklessness application. Conditionally the approach in the direction of recklessness is observed to be highly subjective; liability can be avoided easily by the guilty parties. On the other hand, the test's objective can lead in the direction of injustice. HL's R v G base decision prompted A question on the reasons to find a justification in Caldwell rule which was not modified instead of getting departing from the case. Lord Bingham addressing stated that conditionally in context to children if the rules are modified then a corresponding change is needed to be implemented in the direction of being modifying the defendants with regular mental disabilities. If it is not done then it can create problems in context to the jury. Contradictorily indicating toward the needed modification, in which a defendant should regard the aspect of acting recklessly. It refers to the place where the risk is obvious in the direction of them as well as they had been inducing the thoughts in the direction of it. In the context of this paper, an appropriate suggestion refers to a both subjective as well as objective approaches combination that needs to be adopted in the direction of addressing this issue (, 2003).

References for Criminal Law

Ciobanu, L., 2016. An Important Issue under Criminal Law. On Criminal Damage. Pandectele Romane, p.117. 1982. MPC v Caldwell (1982) AC 341, from: [Accessed On: 18th August 2010] 2006. Booth v CPS (2006) EWHC 192, [2006] ALL ER (D) 225 (Jan), from: [Accessed On: 18th August 2010] 1957. R v Cunningham (1957) 2QB 396, from: [Accessed On: 18th August 2010] 1971. Criminal Damage Act 1971, from: [Accessed On: 18th August 2010]

Oghbaee, H., 2019. The effects of criminal damage and damage caused by research on third parties. Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities Research7(01), pp.25-29.

Ormerod, D. and Laird, K., 2014. Text, cases, and materials on criminal law. Oxford University Press, USA. 2003. R v G and another [2003] UKHL 50, from: [Accessed On: 18th August 2010] 1877. R v Faulkner (1877) 13 Cox 550, from: [Accessed On: 18th August 2010]

Robinson, A., Marchment, Z. and Gill, P., 2019. Domestic extremist criminal damage events: behaving like criminals or terrorists?. Security Journal32(2), pp.153-167.

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