2.12
Deep sea sport fishing with rods and reels.

So what?

With some criminal offences, the law says that it is not necessary that the person intended to engage in the conduct that caused them to commit an offence, meaning there is no mental or mind element for the offence to be proved, for example, speeding in your car. This is also known as a strict liability offence.

There is a defence available in these kinds of cases, where an accused person honestly and reasonably believes and makes a mistake about facts that, if true, would have made their conduct lawful, such as what was the actual navigational position of your boat before you decided to fish in a specifically licenced area.

This is different from simply not knowing that you need a licence to take fish from the water, which is not an excuse.

Share your views on the fairness of strict and liability offences by taking part in this poll.

What you need to do

  1. Respond to the ‘So what?’ poll.
  2. Return to this step, and then within the Comments, share with other learners the reason for your answer.

How did you respond?

If you answered ‘Yes’ to the poll question, describe why you think these offences are fair.

If you answered ‘No’, discuss why you think these offences are unfair. How could the two-part criminal offence formula be changed to become more fair?

Curious about the results of the poll?

Review the results of the poll, return to this step and then within the Comments, let other learners know about your thoughts on the outcome.

Once you have, take some time to read and respond to comments made by other learners.

Remember, you can also ‘Like’ comments or follow other learners throughout the course.


All the information collected will be stored and handled according to Google’s Privacy Policy / T&C. Your participation has no effect on your course progress, marks or FutureLearn profile.


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This article is from the free online course:

Law for Non-Lawyers: Introduction to Law

Monash University