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Association Offences - 2020 > Conspiracy > Flashcards

Flashcards in Conspiracy Deck (16)
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Section and Penalty

S310(1) CA 1961
7 Years Imprisonment - If penalty of that offence exceeds 7 years otherwise same penalty



• Conspires
• With any person
• To commit any offence OR To do or omit, in any part of the world,
• Anything of which the doing or omission in New Zealand would be an offence.




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 Conspiracy complete?

The offence is complete on the agreement being made with the required intent.

Of note

No further progression towards the completion of the offence nor further involvement by the parties involved in the agreement is required


When a Conspiracy ends


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


Mens Rea of Conspiracy

The mens rea (mental intent) necessary for a 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.

Of note

The offenders’ mental intent must be to commit the full offence. Where this intent does not exist no crime has been committed.



In a criminal law context there are two specific types of intention in an offence. Firstly there must be an intention to commit the act and secondly, an intention to get a specific result.


R v White

Unknown Identities

R v White

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.

Of note

A person cannot conspire alone; there must be another conspirator for an offence to be committed.


Definition of Offence/Crime

They may be described as any act or omission that is punishable on conviction under any enactment, and are demarcated into four categories described in s6, Criminal Procedures Act 2011


Act and Omission Definition

Act: To take action or do something, to bring about a particular result.

Omission: the action of excluding or leaving out someone or something, a failure to fulfil a moral or legal obligation.


Withdrawing from the agreement

A person withdrawing from the agreement is still guilty of conspiracy as are those people who become party to the agreement after it has been made. However a person can effectively withdraw before the actual agreement is made.


Actus Reus of Conspiracy

Is the actual agreement by two or more people to carry out the illegal conduct.

There is no requirement for the conspirators to actually carry out the illegal conduct in which the agreement is based.

A simple verbal agreement will suffice.


How do you prove intent?

Circumstantial evidence from which an offenders intent may be inferred can include:
-The offenders actions and words before, during and after the event.
-The surrounding circumstances.
-The nature of the act itself.


Two or more people

This is proven circumstantial. A person cannot conspire alone, there must be another conspirator for an offence to be committed.


What just be covered off in a witness statement for conspiracy?

- The identity of the people present at the time of the agreement
- With whom the agreement was made
- What offence was planned
- Any acts carried out to further the common purpose


What just be covered off in a suspect statement for conspiracy?

- The existence of an agreement to commit an offence, OR
- The existence of an agreement to omit to do something that would amount to an offence, and
- The intent of those involved in the agreement
- The identity of all people concerned where possible
- Wether anything was written, said or done to further the common purpose.