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

Peter Durba 84 PAGES (20852 WORDS) Law Project
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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
ATTESTATION ii
CERTIFICATION iii
ABSTRACT iv
TABLE OF CONTENTS v
DEDICATION viii
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT ix
TABLE OF STATUTES xi
TABLE OF CASES xii
LIST OF ABBRIEVATIONS xiii
CHAPTER ONE 1
GENERAL INTRODUCTION 1
1.0.0 INTRODUCTION 1
1.1.0 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY 3
1.2.0 FOCUS OF THE STUDY 3
1.3.0 SCOPE OF THE STUDY 4
1.4.0 METHODOLOGY 4
1.5.0 LITERATURE REVIEW 5
1.6.0 CONCLUSION 9

CHAPTER TWO 11
MENS REA: MEANING, DEVELOPMENT AND FORMS 11
2.0.0 INTRODUCTION 11
2.1.0 MEANING OF MENS REA 12
2.2.0 THE INTRODUCTION OF MENS REA UNDER THE ENGLISH CRIMINAL LAW AND THE INTEGRATION OF MENS REA INTO THE NIGERIA CRIMINAL LAW 14
2.3.0 FORMS OF MENS REA 20
2.4.0 CONCLUSION 34

CHAPTER THREE 35
MENS REA II: THE IMPORTANCE OF MENS REA 35
3.0.0 INTRODUCTION 35
3.1.0 IMPORTANCE OF MENS REA IN ESTABLISHING CRIMINAL LIABILITY 35
3.2.0 CONCLUSION 52

CHAPTER FOUR 53
STRICT LIABILITY OFFENCES/EXCEPTION TO THE PROOF OF MENS REA 53
4.0.0 INTRODUCTION 53
4.1.0 MEANING AND CONCEPT OF STRICT LIABILITY 54
4.2.0 STRICT LIABILITY UNDER THE NIGERIAN CRIMINAL LAW 57
4.3.0 RATIONALE FOR STRICT LIABILITY OFFENCES 63
4.4.0 ARGUMENT AGAINST STRICT LIABILITY OFFENCES 68
4.5.0 CONCLUSION 72

CHAPTER FIVE 73
CONCLUSION 73
5.1.0 SUMMARY 73
5.2.0 CONCLUSION 74
BIBLIOGRAPHY 75

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

Peter, D (2018). THE IMPORTANCE OF MENS REA IN ESTABLISHING CRIMINAL LIABILITY VIS-A-VIS THE RATIONALE FOR STRICT LIABILITY OFFENCES. Afribary.com: Retrieved June 21, 2021, 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.com. Afribary.com, 29 Jan. 2018, https://afribary.com/works/female-genital-mutilation-a-child-right-or-cultural-imperialism-4605 . Accessed 21 Jun. 2021.

MLA7

Durba, Peter. "THE IMPORTANCE OF MENS REA IN ESTABLISHING CRIMINAL LIABILITY VIS-A-VIS THE RATIONALE FOR STRICT LIABILITY OFFENCES". Afribary.com, Afribary.com, 29 Jan. 2018. Web. 21 Jun. 2021. < 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.com (2018). Accessed June 21, 2021. https://afribary.com/works/female-genital-mutilation-a-child-right-or-cultural-imperialism-4605