THE IMPORTANCE OF MENS REA IN ESTABLISHING CRIMINAL LIABILITY VIS-A-VIS THE RATIONALE FOR STRICT LIABILITY OFFENCES

ABSTRACT
 “Mens Rea”, the mental element of an offence can be in the form of intention, recklessness, knowledge and in some instances, negligence or any other state of mind prescribed by the law creating an offence. Developed and integrated into the English criminal law around the twelfth century to the thirteenth century when it was fully integrated into the English criminal law, it has alongside actus reus (physical element), concurrence and causation become an integral part of the law in establishing criminal liability of an accused charged with an offence. This work examines the importance of mens rea, and the forms of mens rea obtainable under the Nigerian Criminal Law whilst briefly examining the introduction of mens rea into the English law and its subsequent integration into the Nigerian law. The second part of the work focuses on strict liability offences as an exception to the proof of mens rea, the strict liability offences, its position under the Nigerian criminal law and also the rationale for these offences.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
TITLE PAGE………….…..…………………….…………………………………………i
ATTESTATIONii
CERTIFICATIONiii
ABSTRACTiv
TABLE OF CONTENTSv
DEDICATIONviii
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTix
TABLE OF STATUTESxi
TABLE OF CASESxii
LIST OF ABBRIEVATIONSxiii
CHAPTER ONE1
GENERAL INTRODUCTION1
1.0.0INTRODUCTION1
1.1.0OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY3
1.2.0FOCUS OF THE STUDY3
1.3.0SCOPE OF THE STUDY4
1.4.0METHODOLOGY4
1.5.0LITERATURE REVIEW5
1.6.0CONCLUSION9

CHAPTER TWO11
MENS REA: MEANING, DEVELOPMENT AND FORMS11
2.0.0INTRODUCTION11
2.1.0MEANING OF MENS REA12
2.2.0THE INTRODUCTION OF MENS REA UNDER THE ENGLISH CRIMINAL LAW AND THE INTEGRATION OF MENS REA INTO THE NIGERIA CRIMINAL LAW14
2.3.0FORMS OF MENS REA20
2.4.0 CONCLUSION34

CHAPTER THREE35
MENS REA II: THE IMPORTANCE OF MENS REA35
3.0.0INTRODUCTION35
3.1.0IMPORTANCE OF MENS REA IN ESTABLISHING CRIMINAL LIABILITY35
3.2.0CONCLUSION52

CHAPTER FOUR53
STRICT LIABILITY OFFENCES/EXCEPTION TO THE PROOF OF MENS REA53
4.0.0INTRODUCTION53
4.1.0MEANING AND CONCEPT OF STRICT LIABILITY54
4.2.0STRICT LIABILITY UNDER THE NIGERIAN CRIMINAL LAW57
4.3.0RATIONALE FOR STRICT LIABILITY OFFENCES63
4.4.0ARGUMENT AGAINST STRICT LIABILITY OFFENCES68
4.5.0CONCLUSION72

CHAPTER FIVE73
CONCLUSION73
5.1.0SUMMARY73
5.2.0 CONCLUSION74
BIBLIOGRAPHY75

TABLE OF STATUTES
•Armed Forces Act, CAP A20 LFN 2004
•Criminal Code, CAP C38 LFN 2004
•National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Act, CAP N30 LFN 2004
•Penal Code, CAP P3 LFN 2004
•Supreme Court Ordinance of 1914
TABLE OF CASES
NIGERIA
•Bassey Asuquo V The State (2002) LPELR 10396 (CA)
•Edu V C.O.P (1952) 14 WACA 163
•Emmanuel Ochiba V The State (2010) SCNJ 1
•Felicia Akinbisade V The State (2006) SCNJ 526
•Giwa V The State (1996) 4 SCNJ 94
•Iromantu V The State (1964) 1 ALL NLR 311
•Joseph Idowu V The State (2000) 7 SCNJ 259
•Mike Amadi V Federal Republic of Nigeria (2008) 12 SC (PT III) 55
•Odunlami V The Nigerian Navy (2013) LPELR 20701 SC
•R V Braimah (1943) 9 WACA 197
•R V Maya Nungu (1963) 14 WACA 379
•R V Otto George (1943) 9 WACA
•R V Unuoha (1926) 3 WACA 88
•Sebastian Yongo V C.O.P (1992) 4 SCNJ 113
•Uluebeka V The State (2011) 4 NWLR Pt 1237
SUDAN
•A.G V Brunza (1966) SLJR 146
UNITED KINGDOM
•D.P.P V Smith (1961) A.C 290
•Fowler V Paget (1798) 7 TR 509
•R V Prince (1875) LR 2 CCR 154
•Reynolds V G. H Austins & Sons Ltd (1951) 2 KB 135
•Sherras V De Rutzen (1895) 1 QB 918
LIST OF ABBRIEVATIONS 
•A.C: Appeal Cases
•ALL N.L.R: All Nigeria Law Report
•Am Inst C.L & C: American Institute of Criminal Law and Criminology
•C.A: Court of Appeal
•Ed: Edition
•Inc: Incorporation
•K.B: king’s Bench
•L.F.N: Laws of the Federation of Nigeria
•LPELR: Law Pavilion Electronic Law Report
•L.R, C.C.R: Law Reports, Crown Cases Reserved
•N.W.L.R: Nigeria Weekly Law Report
•Q.B: Queen’s Bench
•S.C: Supreme Court
•S.C.N.J: Supreme Court of Nigeria Judgements
•S.L.J.R: Sudan Law Journal Reports
•T.R: Times Law Report
•U.Maid L.J: University of Maiduguri Law Journal
•Vol: Volume
•W.A.C.A: West African Court of Appeal
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APA

Durba, P. (2018). THE IMPORTANCE OF MENS REA IN ESTABLISHING CRIMINAL LIABILITY VIS-A-VIS THE RATIONALE FOR STRICT LIABILITY OFFENCES. Afribary. Retrieved from https://afribary.com/works/female-genital-mutilation-a-child-right-or-cultural-imperialism-4605

MLA 8th

Durba, Peter "THE IMPORTANCE OF MENS REA IN ESTABLISHING CRIMINAL LIABILITY VIS-A-VIS THE RATIONALE FOR STRICT LIABILITY OFFENCES" Afribary. Afribary, 29 Jan. 2018, https://afribary.com/works/female-genital-mutilation-a-child-right-or-cultural-imperialism-4605. Accessed 14 Jun. 2024.

MLA7

Durba, Peter . "THE IMPORTANCE OF MENS REA IN ESTABLISHING CRIMINAL LIABILITY VIS-A-VIS THE RATIONALE FOR STRICT LIABILITY OFFENCES". Afribary, Afribary, 29 Jan. 2018. Web. 14 Jun. 2024. < https://afribary.com/works/female-genital-mutilation-a-child-right-or-cultural-imperialism-4605 >.

Chicago

Durba, Peter . "THE IMPORTANCE OF MENS REA IN ESTABLISHING CRIMINAL LIABILITY VIS-A-VIS THE RATIONALE FOR STRICT LIABILITY OFFENCES" Afribary (2018). Accessed June 14, 2024. https://afribary.com/works/female-genital-mutilation-a-child-right-or-cultural-imperialism-4605