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Flashcards in Parties Deck (33)
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Parties to offences Act and Section.

Crimes Act 1961, Section 66


Parties Legislation Section 66(1)

(1) Everyone is a party to and guilty of an offence who-
(a) Actually commits the offence or
(b) Does or omits an act for the purpose of aiding any person to commit the offence or
(c) Abets any person in the commission of the offence or
(d) Incites, counsels, or procures any person to commit the offence.


Parties Legislation Section 66(2)

(2) Where two or more persons form a common intention to prosecute any unlawful purpose, and to assist each other therein, each of them is a party to every offence committed by any one of them in the prosecution of the common purpose if the commission of that offence was known to be a probable consequence of the prosecution of the common purpose.


Elements s66(1)(b)

-Does or omits
-For the purpose of aiding an person
-To commit the offence


Elements s66(1)(c)

-any person
-in the commission of an offence


What do you need to prove when charging someone with being a party to an offence?

-the identity of the defendant
-an offence has been successfully been committed
-the elements of the offence s66(1) have been satisfied


When did participation have to occur to be considered a party to an offence?

Participation must have occurred before or during (contemporaneous with) the commission of the offence and before the completion of the offence.
Anything after the offence becomes an accessory after the fact.


Case law - R v Pene

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


Principal party

a person will be a principal offender, and liable under s66(1)(a), where he or she personally satisfies the actus reus and mens rea requirements of the offence. There may be more than one principal offender.


Secondary party

Secondary parties are those people whose assistance, abetment, incitement, counselling or procurement is sufficient under s66(1)(b)(c)(d) to make them also liable due to their participation int eh offences committed by the principals.
This is despite the fact that the secondary party does not themselves commit the offence.


What are the two methods by which multiple offenders can be considered principal offenders?

Method 1: Each offender satisfies the elements of the offence committed. No requirement to refer to s66(1).
Method 2: Each offender separately satisfies part of the actus reus. Both offenders share the same intent and carries out part of the actus reus


Case law - R v Renata

The court held that where the principal offender cannot be identified, it is sufficient to prove that each individual accused must have been either the principal or a party in one of the ways contemplated by s66(1)



to aid means to assist in the commission of the offence, either physically or by giving advise or information. Presence at the scene is not required.


Case law - Larkins v Police

While it is unnecessary that the principal should be aware that he or she is being assisted, there must be proof of actual assistance.


Examples of assistance

-keeping lookout
-providing screw driver to someone interfering with vehicle
-telling an associate when a neighbour is away from their home


Aiding by omission

Liability for aiding by omission will arise where person A, who has legal duty to act and a right or power to control over person B, fails to observe or discharge the duty by exercising that control to prevent person B committing an offence.



Abets means to instigate or encourage, urge another person to commit the offence.
This can also be passive acquiescence where this is a duty to act such as in a special relationship or legal duty to act


Case law - Ashton v Police

An example of a secondary party owing a legal duty to a third person or to the general public is a person teaching another person to drive. That person is, in New Zealand, under a legal duty to take reasonable precautions, because under s156 of the Crimes Act 1961 he is deemed to be in charge of a dangerous thing.


Case law - R v Russell

The court held that the accused was morally bound to take active steps to save his children, but by his deliberate abstention from so doing, and by giving the encouragement and authority of this presence and approval to his wife's act he became an aider and abettor and thus a secondary offender.



means to rouse, stir up, stimulate, animate, urge or spur on a person to commit the offence
Takes place before the offence is carried out.



means to intentionally instigate the offence by advising a person on how to best commit an offence or planning the commission of an offence for another person.
Takes place before the offence is carried out.



Procurement is setting out to see that something happens and taking the appropriate steps to ensure that it does.
Takes place before the offence is carried out.


Discuss common intention.

In situations where two or more offenders form a common intention and embark on a joint enterprise together, all who entered into the agreement can be charged as parties to that offence. They can also be charged as parties to any other offence that any one of them commits in order to assist the commission of the agreed offence provided that offence is known to be a probable consequence of the execution of their common purpose.
Determined by jury.


Case law - R v Betts and Ridley

An offence where no violence is contemplated and the principal offender in carrying out the common aim uses violence, a secondary offender taking no physical part in it would not be held liable for the violence used.


Discuss probable consequence

Whether an outcome is determined a probable consequence is a subjective appreciation where they must foresee the likelihood of the other offence and they knew it was a real or substantial risk that could well happen.


Joint enterprise - murder or manslaughter

A person charged as a party to murder will be guilty where they:
-intentionally helped or encouraged it or
-foresaw murder as a real risk in the situation that arose
A person charged as a party to manslaughter will be guilty where they:
-knew that at some stage there was a real risk of killing short of murder or foresaw a real risk of murder, but the killing occurred in circumstances different from those contemplated


Innocent agents

An innocent agent is someone who is unaware of the significance of their actions. The innocent agent is not liable but the offender is treated as the principal party.


Investigative procedure for establishing involvement of parties

-a reconstruction of the offence committed
-the principal offender acknowledging or admitting others were involved
-a suspect or witness admitting to proving aid or assistance when interviewed
-a witness providing evidence of another persons involvement
-receiving information indicating that others were involved


Is a person liable to conviction as a secondary party if Police have no located, charged or convicted the principal party.

This also applies when the principal is unable to be convicted due to infancy, insanity or death


What is the punishment for "parties"?

Where no punishment is expressly provided, the punishment is the same