Offences Against The Person Act 1861

2700 words - 11 pages

There has been much discussion on the Offences against the person act
(OAPA) 1861. Many see the act as outdated and clumsy, its wording
unclear and as being difficult to explain and prosecute under. The
OAPA is used in 100,000 prosecutions every year. The Law Commission
has attacked the OAPA for creating constant legal argument and delay
because of unclear wording and wasting thousands of pounds in
taxpayer's money in appeals. Both the Law Commission and the
Government have looked at possible reforms for the act in order to
improve its position in English Law. The 1861 Act is widely criticised
for being archaic and unclear, it is in urgent need of reform. It is
hoped that after the change have been made that the statute will be
able to be used more effectively and efficiently.

The criticisms of the OAPA have been around for several years. Many
lawyers and judges have expressed difficulties in using the act and
there have been Law Commissions set up to look into the act itself.
Jack Straw has described the act as "out-moded and unclear Victorian
legislation"[1] The wording used in the act is now frequently used in
everyday language which has led to differences in meaning and problems
in interpreting the statute. Words such as Grievous Bodily Harm and
Actual Bodily Harm are widely used, however this does not mean that
the offences are easily understood or effective in dealing with
violent behaviour. Some lawyers have even argued that the state of the
OAPA leads to unnecessary and expensive appeals because of the
decisions on questions of law.

Criticism is made often on the way in which the offences themselves
are worded. The language used reflects the period in which the act was
passed and is often out-dated or old-fashioned. In some cases the
words used are open to interpretation, which can lead to conflicting
decisions based on the meaning of a single word. There is no clear
statutory definition of assault or battery, this means that it is
often left to a judge to decide his own meanings of the words and
apply them in a case. This could lead to injustice as he may decide
more strict meaning than is widely accepted as a definition. With the
more serious offences the words are often antiquated and in some cases
misleading for example "assault" and "maliciously". This is because it
is an old piece of legislation, and the vocabulary used in 1861 has
evolved to have different meanings in modern England. The wording has
also lead to a gap in the law, with, in certain cases defendants
getting off a crime, which in terms of common sense he is guilty of.
For instance if man in the street threatens to kill you it would be
seen as assault. But if he shouts that he is going to kill you
tomorrow in the eyes of the law that is not an assault, even though
any reasonable person can see...

Find Another Essay On Offences Against the Person Act 1861

Offences against the administration of justice

1019 words - 5 pages taken this matter correctly into consideration that the administrative measures are not punishments and due to that has applied the term sanction and not punishment or penalty to emphasize it. Conclusion In the present paper the focus was put actually on the main content of the Articles 71 and particularly 70 of the Rome Statute in regard with offences against the administration of justice. The International Criminal Court runs

the notes of criminal law - rape and sexual offences act,. describe and discuss - university - notes

1155 words - 5 pages Rape · Offence against the person. · Difficult crime to investigate and prosecute. · Often occurs when there are just 2 people in private. · Often turns out to be one person’s word against the other. · Low rape conviction rate in UK due to difficulty in conviction. Sexual Offences Act 2003 S.1(1), Sexual Offences Act 1956 – “it is felony for a man to rape a woman” Sexual Offences (Amendment) Act 1976 – defined rape as “unlawful sexual

We Must All Take a Stand Against The Patriot Act!

871 words - 4 pages and it is easy for the government to label anyone as a suspected terrorist to start gathering information on them. Furthermore, The Patriot act uses racial profiling in choosing anyone who is a Muslim immigrant and is particularly from the Middle-East. Lastly, The Patriot Act goes against the Constitution particularly the First, Fourth, and Fifth Constitutional Amendments. The Patriot Act is an invasion of personal privacy, racist in choosing its

Russell Feingold: A Patriot Against the USA Patriot Act

1137 words - 5 pages Less than one week after the devastating terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the U.S.A. Patriot Act was introduced to Congress. One month later, the act passed in the Senate with a vote of 98-1. A frightened nation had cried for protection against further attacks, but certainly got more than they had asked for. Russell Feingold, the only Senator to vote down the act, referred to it as, “legislation on the fly, unlike anything [he] had

Against the Affordable Care Act or Obama Care

868 words - 4 pages The Affordable Care Act better know has the Obama Care in my opinion is a slothful excuse for national health care .The initial motive of the bill is affordability and quality healthcare for private and public health insurance the 44 million uninsured.As well as to curb the growth in healthcare spending in the US.most citizens are

"The Case Against the US Patriot Act"- This essay explores the effects of the US Patriot Act on our Constitutional Rights

1293 words - 5 pages The Case Against the USA Patriot Act"There is nothing to fear, but fear itself." This famous quote, spoken by Franklin Roosevelt, serves as a reminder to people everywhere that fear should not guide our actions, nor should they influence our lives. On September 11th, 2001, the American public saw the face of fear and stood bravely in its shadow, its shadow which covered New York City and Washington DC. Shortly thereafter, President George W

Was an act of genocide committed against the Armenia people during 1915-1916?

1039 words - 5 pages Following the decline of the Ottoman Empire, the Turkish nationalist reform party known as the ‘Young Turks’ carried out the deportation and massacres of the Armenians living in Turkey between 1915-1916,The UN as defines genocide as “acts carried out intended to destroy, in whole or part, a national ethnic, racial or religious group” ("Q&A: Armenian Genocide Dispute."). Though it is agreed that the killings took place, the number of deceased


1073 words - 5 pages . Then as Gary falls on Clogda he has theoretically committed GBH (under s20 of the Offences Against the Persons act 1861) on Clogda due to the severity of her injuries. GBH means really serious harm (DPP v Smith), In Saunders ‘the word really simply ethicise how serious the harm has to be’ Missing out the word really is not a misdirection. However there is an issue of transferred malice. ‘Transferred malice is a means of imposing liability for

The Role and Proceedings in a Court

2366 words - 9 pages (in which the defendant was a young man), a case involving assault occasioning actual bodily harm (ABH), this case involved two young college mates of which the defendant was a female student. The last case involved theft, a young man was accused of having shoplifted a pair of sports boots from a shopping mall. The offences are defined in the following provisions; section 47, of the offences against the person act of 1861, Section 1 of the theft

Gross Negligence and Recklessness

2775 words - 11 pages unoccupied house in order the steal the money. The gas was left gushing out and it seeped into the neighbouring house where it was breathed in by the victim who was nearly gassed. The defendant was charged under s.23 Offences Against the Person Act 1861, which involves maliciously administering a noxious thing so as to endanger life. The trial judge directed the jury that malice was the equivalent to wicked and the Court of

Case 101

697 words - 3 pages Sunita as DefendantSunita (S) could be charged with attempted murder, s. 47, s. 20, s. 18 of Offences Against The Person Act 1861 (OAPA 1861).Attempted murder is a crime of specific intent to kill. Prima facie the intention to kill seems very remote.S. 47 involve assault occasioning actual bodily harm (ABH). The Actus Reus of the offence is (a) an assault, i.e. any act which causes the victim, in this case Barbara (B), to apprehend an immediate

Similar Essays

Offences Against The Person Act, 1861 And Its Reforms

1321 words - 5 pages Offences Against the Person Act, 1861 and Its Reforms 'It has been suggested by the Law Commission and others that section 18, 20 and 47 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861 should be repealed because they are unjust, ineffective, illogical and severely defective. In addition the offences, as they are defined, are incomprehensible to juries.' Explain and comment on these suggestions. In 1980 it was

Law Aqa Unit 2 Criminal Liability, Offences Against The Person (Non Fatal), Law Essay

5895 words - 24 pages formed a chain to complete the mens rea. · This was affirmed in the case of R v Church and R v Le Brun Offences Against The Person (Non Fatal)  The actus reus and mens rea for each offence must be proven by the prosecution to convict a defendant for the particular offence. Remember, for each mens rea you can bring in relevant cases stated earlier. (s. 39 Criminal Justice Act 1988) Assault and battery = 2 separate offences: Dpp v Little Assault

Extended Research Report On ‘Offences Against The Person – Murder And Manslaughter’

1510 words - 7 pages the time of doing the act or making the omission which causes death in such a state of abnormality of mind… the person is guilty of manslaughter only.” • Self-defence (complete defence) – section 271 of the Criminal Code Act 1899 states that: 1) When a person is unlawfully assaulted, and has not provoked the assault, it is lawful for the person to use such force to the assailant as is reasonably necessary to make effectual defence against the

Offences Against The Administration Of Justice

2122 words - 9 pages third category was about the crime of bribery which could occur in both forms of offering or giving the bribe to an official of the Court by an individual or any official person of the Court who accepts the bribe. There has not been any recording about the ad hoc tribunals over the bribery offence. Investigation and Prosecution- In accordance with Article 70 the proceedings of the offences against the administration of justice with charges