Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Conspiracy crime

Conspiracy crime, In criminal law, a conspiracy is an agreement between two or more persons to break the law at some time in the future. Criminal law in some countries or for some conspiracies may require that at least one overt act must also have been undertaken in furtherance of that agreement, to constitute an offense. There is no limit on the number participating in the conspiracy and, in most countries, no requirement that any steps have been taken to put the plan into effect (compare attempts which require proximity to the full offence). For the purposes of concurrence, the actus reus is a continuing one and parties may join the plot later and incur joint liability and conspiracy can be charged where the co-conspirators have been acquitted or cannot be traced.


Finally, repentance by one or more parties does not affect liability but may reduce their sentence. At common law, the crime of conspiracy was capable of infinite growth, able to accommodate any new situation and to criminalize it if the level of threat to society was sufficiently great. The courts were therefore acting in the role of the legislature to create new offences and, following the Law Commission Report No. 76 on "Reform of the Common Law", the Criminal Law Act 1977 produced a statutory offence and abolished all the common law varieties of conspiracy, except two, Conspiracy to corrupt public morals or to outrage public decency

Conspiracy to corrupt public morals is an offence under the common law of England and Wales.

Conspiracy to outrage public decency is an offence under the common law of England and Wales.

Section 5(1) of the Criminal Law Act 1977 does not affect the common law offence of conspiracy if, and in so far as, it can be committed by entering into an agreement to engage in conduct which tends to corrupt public morals, or which outrages public decency, but which does not amount to or involve the commission of an offence if carried out by a single person otherwise than in pursuance of an agreement.

Jonathan Herring said that conspiracy to "corrupt public morals" has no definitive case law, that it is unknown whether or not it is a substantive offence, and that it is unlikely that conspirators will be prosecuted for this offence.

These two offences cover situations where, for example, a publisher encourages immoral behavior through explicit content in a magazine or periodical. But, in R v Rowley [1991] 4 All ER 649, the defendant left notes in public places over a period of three weeks offering money and presents to boys with the intention of luring them for immoral purposes, but there was nothing lewd, obscene or disgusting in the notes. The judge ruled that the jury was entitled to look at the purpose behind the notes in deciding whether they were lewd or disgusting. On appeal against conviction, it was held that an act outraging public decency required a deliberate act which was in itself lewd, obscene or disgusting, so Rowley’s motive in leaving the notes was irrelevant and, since there was nothing in the notes themselves capable of outraging public decency, the conviction was quashed.

Conspiracy crime Rating: 4.5 Diposkan Oleh: Arm Aritn

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