Journal of Criminal Law, The

Sage Publications, Inc.
Publication date:

Latest documents

  • Breaching an Embargo on the Publication of a Judgment: A Criminal Contempt of Court? Her Majesty’s Attorney General v Crosland [2021] UKSC 15
  • Liable for Unlawful Assembly and Riot by Virtue of Liking or Comment on Social Media Platforms?

    In Secretary for Justice v Tong Wai Hung [2021] HKCA 404, the Hong Kong Court of Appeal affirmed that the doctrine of joint enterprise, as a matter of statutory construction, is applicable onwards to the offences of unlawful assembly and riot under the Public Order Ordinance (Cap. 245), and physical presence at the crime scene is not a pre-requisite to establish liability. The Court argued that such an interpretation strikes a balance between public order concerns and the need to avoid the risk of over-charging. This note contends that the Court of Appeal’s decision will risk exposing numerous citizens, who can hardly be said to share culpability comparable to that of the actual and principal perpetrators of unlawful and riotous assemblies, to prosecution and conviction on questionable legal and evidential basis.

  • The Myth of Madness: Murderous Mothers and Maternal Infanticide

    The sex-specific doctrine of infanticide provides a merciful method of dealing with women who kill their newborn children in circumstances of psychological distress. This article examines the contentious medical rationale which underpins infanticide legislation with the purpose of providing a substantiated argument for the abolition of this antiquated doctrine. Specifically, a two-pronged approach is taken. First, by utilising the views of contemporary medical science, the scientific credibility of the medical rationale is scrutinised. Second, by drawing upon feminist legal theory, a myriad of concerns associated with the medicalisation of female offenders are critically discussed. Ultimately, it is suggested that the offence/defence of infanticide should be abolished and that crimes of this nature should be readily subsumed under the current partial defence of diminished responsibility.

  • Conditional Consent and Sexual Crime: Time for Reform?

    Statistics published by the government in 2021 highlight serious problems in England and Wales with a drop in prosecutions of sexual crimes. Part of this issue is attributed to the complexities around sexual consent and public understanding of it. This article highlights a particular problem in the law around conditional consent. It shows that the law on conditional consent is completely incoherent, complicating efforts to increase public education on the matter. The law is also limited in its protection of sexual autonomy of victims, as well in its protection of victims against pregnancy. Critics of reform warn against overcriminalisation of rape, and against imposing morals on society. However, it is argued that given the current reality of how rape is dealt with in England and Wales, these concerns should not prevent reform to the law of conditional consent. The article ends by arguing that reform should be carried out to make the law on conditional consent more coherent and to take account of pregnancy as a consequence of sexual intercourse.

  • Expert Evidence, Hearsay and Victims of Trafficking

    Case commentary of the Court of Appeal ruling in R v Brecani [2021] EWCA Crim 731.

  • Offender-Centric Policing in Cases of Rape

    The article explores the idea of ‘offender-centric’ policing in cases of rape, with its focus on suspect and offender admissions and behaviours. It features discussion of 11 cases, illustrating offender-centric pathways to charge or conviction, the challenges facing complainants, suspects and police officers, along with missed opportunities to focus on a suspect’s behaviour. The importance of victim care and support is discussed, and it is argued that victim care should accompany an offender-centric approach to rape investigation. It is also argued that there are potential dangers with offender-centric tactics, specifically, that without due care it may become a self-confirming investigative tool influenced by confirmation bias which may lead to flawed decision-making. The article concludes by arguing that offender-centric policing has benefits in those cases with suspects who engage in predatory behaviour, have a history of previously undisclosed sexual offending and domestic violence and other problematic behaviours. It also has value in focusing the attention of investigators on what steps were taken by a suspect to ascertain the complainant’s consent. While the offender-centric approach cannot address all investigative challenges in rape cases, it is a useful addition to existing strategies.

  • The Admissibility of Sexual Orientation Evidence as Evidence of the Complainant's “Sexual Behaviour” Under s.41 of the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999
  • The Impossible Trinity of Deception, Sex and Consent

    During the last couple of centuries, the English law dealing with sexual conduct has made a decisive shift towards a ‘consent-based model’ of rape law. But strikingly, deceptive sexual relationships (DSR) have been untouched by this development as lately reaffirmed by the Court of Appeal in R v Jason Lawrence. If rape is defined as sex without consent, then DSR ought to be no exception, because the general proposition of law is that consent induced by deception is no consent at all. In making a case for the criminalisation of DSR, this article (1) arrays the lack of uniformity in court’s jurisprudence on DSR and (2) brings along the sexual autonomy theory to support its case.

  • A Beautiful Law for the Beautiful Game? Revisiting the Football Offences Act 1991

    This article revisits the operation of the Football (Offences) Act (FOA) 1991 30 years after its enactment. FOA was introduced following recommendations of the Taylor Report 1990 as part of a raft of measures looking to balance spectator safety against the threat of football crowd disorder. Providing targeted and largely uncontroversial restrictions on football spectators, and seemingly popular with police and clubs, FOA criminalises throwing missiles, encroaching onto the pitch and engaging in indecent or ‘racialist’ chanting. It is argued here that FOA has struggled to keep pace with developments in football spectator behaviour and management, that it is increasingly used in a manner unanticipated by the legislators and that it faces new challenges in enforcement as a result of developing human rights law. The FOA may still provide a useful tool for football spectator management, but it needs substantial amendment to remain relevant to the contemporary legal and football landscape.

  • Statutory Protection for Retail Workers in Scotland

    The Scottish Parliament has passed an Act making provision for the statutory protection for retail workers, and that law includes the creation of a new offence. The provision is said to be necessary as the retail workers are subjected to criminal conduct when required to ask for proof of age. That request resulted, it is said, in the retail workers at that point acting in the public interest.

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