2.18

Weekly summary

Thank you all for such a fantastic second week of the course, and we’ve been delighted by the range of conversations that have been taking place.

Many of you have also shown us your newfound research skills and abilities finding relevant criminal laws from your jurisdiction by sharing links in the comments.

If you’re searching for legal information online, but are not sure how to go about it, we’d strongly recommend that you work through Caroline’s How to start finding the law and How to access online law resources tutorials. They’ll show you how to find information online more effectively.

Primary sources are important! Remember, when sharing links to sources to support your comments, be sure to use primary sources like relevant laws or legislation. Using secondary sources such as newspapers, articles and blogs are not preferred as they provide an account, commentary or an opinion.

Intention to commit a crime is not sufficient

Also this week, you discussed the issue of planning a crime and questioned why that itself was not a crime. Generally speaking, simply having an intention to commit a crime is not sufficient. There must be an actus reus element.

However, the actus reus element might be conspiring to commit a crime (the steps taken in conspiring with another constitute the actus reus) or threatening to kill someone (the threat itself is the actus reus). The actus reus element usually requires some tangible act (as opposed to simply possessing a thought or intention).

Understandably, actus reas continues to fascinate learners from this course and previous runs, and it’s one of the many topics that Lloyd has spoken about in feedback videos recorded for previous runs.

This is an additional video, hosted on YouTube.

Law for Non-Lawyers on YouTube

If you’re curious to learn more about Lloyd’s thoughts on the topic, you may be interested in some of the earlier discussions about actus reus he’s had that are available for you to watch on the Law for Non-Lawyers YouTube channel.

There, you’ll find videos with Lloyd’s unique perspective on strict/absolute liability, beyond reasonable doubt, and more.

Over 93% of respondents think beyond reasonable doubt is the right test for criminal guilt

Thanks to all of you that responded to the poll on Step 2.5 So what?, where we asked you to share your views on the conventions of criminal law. So far, 93.2% of respondents told us that they think beyond reasonable doubt is the right test for criminal guilt

Over 80% of respondents think that it’s fair to have strict and absolute liability offences

On Step 2.12, I asked you to share your views on the fairness of strict and liability offences.

So far, 82.3% of respondents think that it’s fair to have strict and absolute liability offences. Have you had the chance to respond to the poll or share with other learners your view on this topic? If not, considering taking some time to let us know what you think.

Check your progress

As you make your way through the course, you might like to check your progress. You can do this by selecting the Progress tab where you’ll see what percentage of the course steps you’ve marked as complete.

Mark as complete

When you are finished on this step, select the Mark as complete button before moving on to the next step. Continue to mark each step as complete as you make your way through the course.


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This article is from the free online course:

Law for Non-Lawyers: Introduction to Law

Monash University