There this is misleading so when a person in

There are many ways to evaluate Law and Sentences on specific
non-fatal offences, one way in doing so is looking at the criticisms of
non-fatal offences. The first criticism is the language of the laws being old
(in the Act itself) as well as confusing. For example, in GBH section 20 and 18
it uses terms such as “Malicious” in modern day society nobody uses words like
this, this therefore doesn’t seem to be modernised, this was meant to define to
be: “Recklessly” but gives the impression it infers committing something in a
nasty/hateful manner, it was meant to be for the Mens Rea, but Mens Res has
been defined as “with intent”. In addition to this, the term “assault” in
modern day society implies physical injuries to a victim after beating them. But,
in terms of law it is just making somebody feel fear, this is misleading so
when a person in court claims they have been assaulted they really mean they
have been a victim of either: GBH, ABH or a Battery depending on the
seriousness of the injuries. Another criticism I am going to talk about is the
fact that Mens Rea in Section 47 doesn’t need any extra Mens Rea, it doesn’t
have the requirement of the defendant to foresee a risk/injury, like in the
case R v Roberts where the defendant
offered to give the victim a lift and then demanded her to have sex with him as
she said no he drove off with her at a high speed leading her to injure herself
by jumping out. The defendant claimed that he was unaware of risks and didn’t
mean for the victim to suffer from ABH, even though he put her in a fearful
state of mind leading to her jumping out of his car. The third criticism I’m
going to talk about is the lack of the seriousness needed in the actual harm
sector in Section 20 GBH, the only thing the prosecution need to show is that
the defendant had intention to cause some harm, which could be the smallest form
of harm. Like in the case R v Mowatt where
the defendant beat the victim unconscious due to the victim confronting the defendant
about the defendant’s partner who helped steal form the victim. It was decided
that the Intention/recklessness to cause a wound and/or GBH doesn’t need
proving. Another criticism I’m going to talk about is the actual offence known
as a “Battery” being misleading. Relating to Battery another criticism is there
is no legal definition to define both “assault & battery” the only thing
close to a definition is the requirements to cause them. Regarding ABH &
GBH the separation doesn’t seem to be visible, it is actual the courts that
make the decision of what causes serious harm, but everyone has different
opinions, especially when both ABH and GBH include psychological pain because
it’s hard to decide what extent of it comes under what offence, with no
boundary as a guidance there will be no proper way in deciding. The final
criticism I will be talking about is using a “wound” to separate Section 18
from 20 being useless as there should only be one Section for GBH because of
the case Moriarty v Brookes where
the defendant hit a customer and used force to remove him from a pub. He was
guilty as he broke the layers of the skin, but compared to a needle prick the
seriousness is clearly different, so I believe if they had one Section they can
easily charge somebody with GBH and giving them a suitable sentence rather that
deciding over a wound.

GBH Section 18 is the offence of inflicting either a wound
or GBH. The Actus Reus in Section 18 is to wound/ cause GBH to the victim. The
Mens Rea is the direct intention to cause GBH and not recklessness. The maximum
sentence for GBH Section 18 is 25 years as it’s the more serious out of Section
20 and 18. In addition to this, GBH Section 20 is the offence of inflicting a wound
or GBH to the victim. The Mens Rea for this is the intention/ recklessness to
cause some harm to the victim. The maximum sentence for GBH Section 20 is 5
years in prison as it’s the least serious of the two. Moreover Section 47 ABH,
can be caused by either an assault or battery. The Mens Rea for this is
intention or recklessness to commit the assault or battery or both. In ABH Section
47 touching someone else’s clothes or spitting on them can amount to a battery.
Even though they do not physically injure the victim, but they could possibly
psychologically injure them, this is unfair as they will be charged under ABH Section
47 and will have the same sentence as someone who has amounted GBH. Also, an
assault can just be committed by saying something to make the victim feel
immediate fear. An example of GBH Section 20 is breaking someone’s bone. ABH Section
47 is caused by the slight direct touch. By knowing this it is clear that the
sentencing for these non-fatal offences have not been thought through due to
the difference is the elements of committing the crimes. There are some
similarities in the crimes such as intention, but nothing major that fit GBH Section
20 and ABH Section 47 into the same sentencing. Therefore, I believe that the sentencing
for these opposite crimes should be reconsidered. However, the maximum sentence
for GBH Section 18 is 25 years. This is a very big gap between the non-fatal
offences even though GBH Section 20 and Section 18 are very similar in terms of
the wounding, the problem seems to be if the sentence length should be
dependent on the intention of causing GBH such as Recklessness or Direct
intention? I believe Section 18 and Section 20 should both have the same
sentence such as 10-15 years in prison where the judge is able to decide on the
length of the sentence depending on how severe the victim’s injuries are.

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To finalize I’m going to talk about the reforms from the Law
Commission regarding the Non-Fatal offences.  One reform I’m going to focus on is the one
that creates a simplification where “Sections are replaced with “Clauses”. For example,
Section 18 (as defined above) would become
Clause 1. The Actus Reus for Clause 1 is causing serious injury to
the victim, “injury” has substituted “Bodily Harm”. The Mens Rea for Clause 1
is the Intention to cause a serious injury. Section 20 (as defined above), would become Clause 2. The Actus reus for Clause
2 is causing serious injury to the victim also, so now they both have the
same Actus Reus. The Mens Rea on the other hand is recklessly causing serious
injury which is relevant for GBH Section 20. By the difference in the Mens Rea
a clear difference is set. Section 47 would
be Clause 3. The Actus Reus for Clause 3 is to cause injury to the
victim, not serious injury. The Mens Rea is intentionally or recklessly causing
this less serious injury. Another reform to simplify is idea of a Common Assault which is the idea of
being charged with a Common Assault instead
of Section 47. A Common Assault shares
the same elements as both Assault and
Battery but it’s in a way merged into one, Common Assault is followed
by the following types of Assaults: Physical Assaults, Aggravated Assaults,
Threatened Assaults. Physical Assaults Actus
Reus is where the defendant without permission touches the victim, as touch can
cause a battery and it doesn’t have to be forced. The Mens Rea is to commit
this intentionally or recklessly. Threatened
Assaults Actus Reus is to cause the victim to feel immediate unlawful
violence. This has the same Mens Rea as Physical
Assault. Aggravated Assaults Actus Reus is to cause minor injury to the
victim. The Mens Rea is the intention or recklessness to cause a common assault
either physical or threatened.

 

Bibliography

 

Criticisms
of Non-Fatal Offences

http://www.bitsoflaw.org/criminal/offences-against-the-person/study-note/a-level/non-fatal-evaluation-reform 
 

Sentencing

Based
off Task 2 (Anna and Ben)

Reforms

http://www.lawcom.gov.uk/app/uploads/2015/11/lc361_offences_against_the_person_summary.pdf