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Flashcards in Conspiracy Deck (13):

Define: Conspiracy

Conspiracy is an agreement between two or more people to commit an offence. The necessarily occurs before the principal offence is committed. It comes after the intent to commit the crime and before the attempt.


What is punishment for committing conspiracy?

Are liable for a term of imprisonment not exceeding 7 years imprisonment for offences more than 7 years. Otherwise liable to the same punishment as if they had committed the offence.


What four things must be proved for a charge of conspiracy?

1. Two or more people were involved
2. An agreement was made
3. The agreement was to commit an offence
4. At the time of the agreement their intention was to commit the offence.


Mulcahy v R (1868) - MUST KNOW

A conspiracy consists not merely in the intention of two or more, but in the agreement of two or more to do an unlawful act, or to do a lawful act by unlawful means. So long as such a design rests in intention only it is not indictable. When two agree to carry it (the intended offence) into effect, the very plot is an act in itself.


When is the offence of conspiracy complete?

The offence is complete on the 'agreement' being made, with the required intent to carry it out.


What constitutes an 'agreement'?

An agreement requires the operation of both the mental and physical faculties.

The mens rea (mental intent) necessary for conspiracy is:
- An intention of those involved to agree, AND
- An intention that the relevant course of conduct should be pursued by those party to the agreement.

The physical acts, words or gestures used by the conspirators in making their agreement is what is to be considered the actus reus. A simple verbal agreement is sufficient and there is no need for them to have made a decision on how they will actually commit the offence.

Mere passive presence or knowledge of an intention does not amount to being a party to the conspiracy.


Define: 'Intent'

Intent means that the act or omission must be done deliberately. The act or omission must be more than involuntary or accidental.

The intent need not be a firm intent or purpose. A conspiracy could be a fleeting agreement between the parties involved in that agreement.


R v White (1945) - MUST KNOW

Where you can prove that a suspect conspired with other parties (one or more people) whose identities are unknown, that suspect can still be convicted even if the identity of the other parties is never established and remains unknown.


Can you conspire with a spouse or partner?

Yes. s67, Crimes Act 1961 states a person is capable of conspiring with his or her spouse or civil union partner.


describe conspiracy offences in regards to committing offences overseas

If conspiracy is made overseas to commit an offence in NZ. This IS unlawful, but persons can only be charged if they physically set foot in NZ still with same intention.

If conspiracy is made in NZ to commit an offence overseas, it is an offence in NZ if the act is unlawful in that overseas country.

Ie - planning to commit a bombing in Australia, would be an offence in the conspiracy was made in NZ.

planning to take on a second wife in Saudi Arabia would not be an offence if agreement was made in NZ as that is not illegal behaviour in Saudi Arabia.


Explain the admissibility of evidence regarding persons charged jointly with conspiracy

Anything a conspirator says or does to further the common purpose IS admissible against other parties charged (this is an exception to the hearsay rule) - hence conspirators should be charged jointly.

Anything a conspirator says or does AFTER the common purpose is complete is only admissible against that person, not the other parties involved.


R v Sanders (1984) - MUST KNOW

A conspiracy does not end with the making of the agreement. The conspiratorial agreement continues in the operation and therefore in existence until it is ended by completion of its performance of abandonment or in any other manner by which agreements are discharged.


What section does conspiracy come under?