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Flashcards in Parties Deck (11)
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Under s66 of the Crimes Act 1961 everyone is party to and guilty of an offence who ...

(a) Actually commits the offence
(b) Does or omits an act for the purpose of aiding any person to commit the offence.
(c) Abets any person in the commission of the offence.
(d) Incites, counsels, or procures any person to commit the offence.

Where two or more persons form a commom intention to carry out an unlawful purpose each of them is a party to every offence committed by the other in execution of that common purpose if it was known to have been a probable consequence.


What do you need to prove for a charge under s66(1)?

1. The identity of the defendant
2. An offence has been committed
3. The elements of s66(1) have been satisfied


What is the mens rea requirement for a party to an offence?

A party must intentionally help or encourage - it is insufficient if they were reckless as to whether the principal was assisted or encouraged. - R v Pene


Can a 'parties' charge succeed if the principal cannot be identified?

Yes. In R v Renata the court held that it is sufficient to prove that each individual must have been either the principal or a party in one of the ways under s66(2).


Define aiding

To assist in the commission of an offence, either physically or by giving advice or information.

While it is unnecessary that the principal be aware of the assistance, there must be proof of actual assistance. Larkins v Police.


Define abbetting

Abetting means to instigate or encourage.

Simply doing nothing cannot be considered abetting unless the person has a legal duty to act or there is a special relationship between them and the principal offender.


What are examples of a 'legal duty' and 'special relationship' that would make inaction be considered abetting?

Ashton v Police - A person teaching another to drive is under a legal duty to act to take reasonable precautions.

R v Russell - A man was considered to be morally bound to save his children from his wife's actions.


Define 'incites', 'counsels' and 'procures'

Incite - To rouse, stir up or urge a person to commit an offence.

Counsels - By advising a person on how to commit an offence, knowing that they intend to commit that offence.

Procures - Taking steps to ensure the principal carries out the offence, e.g. by offer of payment.


Define a common intention in relation to s66(2) and the liability of the parties involved.

Where two or more offenders agree to commit an offence together and embark on the joint enterprise both are liable for all offences committed to assist with the common purpose, provided that the offence is a probable consequence.

A secondary party would not be liable for a violent offence carried out to assist the common purpose where no violence was contemplated. R v Betts and Ridley


Explain the significance of using an innocent agent.

Where an innocent agent is used to carry out the act of the offence, the offender is charged as the principal and the innocent agent is regarded as the mechanism, not the party.


What is the punishment for being a party to an offence?

Where the offence has been committed a party is subject to the same punishment.

Where the offence is not committed a party is subject to the same punishment as if they had attempted that offence. - s311(2) CA61