Most crimes require proof that the defendant had mens rea: most commonly intention, recklessness, knowledge or dishonesty. Without a mens rea requirement there would be a danger that blameless defendants could be subject to criminal punishment. The criminal law is concerned with not only preventing harm, but also allocating blame. Only a defendant who should properly have to account for the harm he or she has caused should face punishment.
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- Mens Rea
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- CHAPTER 3